Australian first head-protecting airbag for Freightliner Cascadia

In News, Daimler, Freightliner3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 6, 2021

Freightliner Australia will introduce a head-protecting side airbag on the Cascadia heavy-duty truck late this year, making it the only manufacturer to offer a head-protecting side airbag in a bonneted truck in Australia. The Cascadia is still the only bonneted truck in Australia to be fitted with a steering wheel mounted airbag. 

Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, said Daimler is excited to further advance safety in the conventional truck class in Australia.

“There is no good reason why conventional truck drivers in Australia should not be able to drive a truck fitted with the latest safety features,” he says. “It doesn‘t matter whether you are driving a truck with or without a bonnet, your safety is just as important.” 

The Cascadia‘s head-protecting side airbag has been specially developed for the Australian market with partner RollTek by IMMI to ensure it caters for local preferences. As a result, it can be used with standard Cascadia ISRI seats. 

In the United States, the RollTek airbag system is seat-mounted, while the seatbelts are mounted to the truck‘s B-pillar.  Australian drivers prefer the belts to be tethered to the seat instead of the B-pillar, allowing the belts to move up and down with the seat and the driver, which is incompatible with the US seat-based airbag deployment system. RollTek instead developed an Australian head-protecting airbag that is mounted on the truck‘s B-pillar.

Freightliner Trucks Australia Pacific director, Stephen Downes, says the company is committed to raising the bar in the conventional truck class. “A conventional truck with fully integrated advanced safety technology like Detroit Assurance 5.0 and not one but two airbags is exactly what many of our customers have been asking for in this class.”

The standard Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety package features AEBS and adaptive cruise control as well as Tailgate Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent High Beam, while Automatic Wipers and Headlamps are also standard.

Customers are able to order the new head-protecting side airbag late this year.