It looks like Mercedes Benz have taken the next step in the evolution of trucks with the release of the new Actros in Europe. The new model is fitted with every piece of modern technology known, with a few surprises added in to boot.
The new features include: semi-automated driving with Active Drive Assist, up to five per cent lower fuel consumption, MirrorCam as standard equipment, Active Brake Assist 5, connectivity and what Benz are calling a ‘Multimedia Cockpit’.
This multimedia cockpit follows on from developments at the top end of the Mercedes Benz car range. The dash board consists of two wide screens which are configurable to the driver’s preferences and which can be used to monitor anything the driver needs to know about.
This new technology makes the cabin, from the driver’s seat, look like something out of the movies.The two interactive screens come as standard and serve as the central source of information in the driver’s digital cockpit of the future. Connectivity includes the ability for smartphones to be connected via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Apps help the driver and the Truck Data Centre connects the truck permanently to the cloud and forms the basis of all connectivity solutions.
No More Mirrors
The main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors have been replaced on the new Actros by the MirrorCam as part of the standard equipment. The 15-inch screens mounted on the A pillar provide an improved all-round view and consists of two cameras on each side of the cabin, mounted on an exterior stalk.
How long it will be before this new technology makes it to Australia is anybody’s guess. The latest generation of Mercedes Benz heavies took quite a few years to appear here, but the Daimler Trucks organisation here is building up some momentum. They will also have to start lobbying for exceptions to the current ADRs which require a rear view mirror.
“We are very excited to see this technology on display in Europe, but it is too early to discuss details of when it might be available in Australia,” says Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Australia Pacific Director, Michael May. “As demonstrated with the current Mercedes-Benz model range, we will only introduce technology into Australia when we are absolutely positive that it is right for our local customers and able to withstand our tough conditions.”