With the introduction of the updated 300 Series range, Hino is pushing the envelope on what light duty truck buyers can expect as standard on a truck that they buy.
Hino has delivered a new level of features and performance at the lower end weight range with the release of its 300 Series light duty truck. The new range features what Hino terms as SmartSafe – a comprehensive safety package with advanced driver-assist technology that takes an active focus in protecting the life of drivers, passengers and other road users.
This launch continues a number of initiatives which Hino has taken in recent years to stay ahead of the game. The truck maker has long been the number two in sales in the Australian truck market and continues to outrank its rivals, especially Isuzu, at every new iteration of its models.
As we saw with the new 500 Series last year, Hino has access to all of the latest sophisticated safety systems from the Toyota catalogue and is introducing state-of-the-art safety systems to keep the models ahead of all of their Japanese rivals in electronics sophistication.
The kind of equipment now being included in a small Hino truck is comparable to the kind of safety system we are seeing fitted in the latest top of the range European heavy duty prime mover, where the development costs of such systems can be absorbed into the cost of a much more expensive bit of kit.
“Hino SmartSafe includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection (PD) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), in addition to the already extensive list of standard safety features such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Reverse Camera,” says Daniel Petrovski, Manager of Product Strategy for Hino Australia.
“At Hino, we have lifted the bar in regards to the standard safety specifications that Australian customers should expect from a Japanese-built truck. Starting in 2011, the Hino 300 Series was the first Japanese-built light duty truck to include the life-saving feature of VSC.
“Similarly, Hino was also the first Japanese manufacturer to offer VSC and PCS in the medium-duty market, with the launch of the new 500 Series Standard Cab in early 2019. It should come as no surprise that we have continued with this trend, by introducing Hino SmartSafe and choosing the most comprehensive safety package available for our new 300 Series models.”
The Pre-Collision System has a forward facing camera and radar to detect potential collisions with another vehicle, or a pedestrian. It continuously scans the road in front of the truck and is particularly useful in avoiding nose-to-tail collisions.
The PCS detects the vehicle ahead and an algorithm continuously calculates risk of a collision and will warn the driver both audibly and visually if a collision is deemed to be likely. In the eventuality of the driver not reacting to the warning, PCS can apply emergency braking to reduce speed and avoid a collision.
Other safety features include dual SRS airbags, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, and UN ECE R-29 cab strength certification.
The way that Hino is pushing the envelope with the inclusion of this safety suite does up the ante in this sector of the truck market, but from the outside, the trucks look little changed with an update on the grille giving the game away, hiding the fact that there is a lot more going on under the skin.