Mercedes-Benz Trucks drives forward truck safety

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 11, 2019

Last week the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Safety Dialogue was held, where experts from politics and business, and from Dekra Accident Research and the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club e.V. (General Bicycle Association of Germany) discussed innovative solutions for further improving road safety in the context of trucks for all road users.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks presented the new Actros to show just what level of safety is possible on the roads, and what the manufacturer is doing in pursuit of their vision of accident-free driving: for the Stuttgart-based engineers, this path includes cutting-edge active safety systems. From January 2020, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will equip its heavy model series with the latest generation emergency braking system with pedestrian recognition (ABA 5) Europe-wide as standard. Also, the Sideguard Assist from Mercedes-Benz Trucks, which has been on the market since 2016, is now available not only ex works, but also for retrofitting.

Trucks are an essential part of life – they deliver goods to production lines, move households, empty bins, and ensure supermarkets are kept stocked. When things go well, everyone is happy. It‘s a different matter if a truck is involved in an accident. So the message has to be: ensure the highest possible level of safety from the manufacturer‘s side. 

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has always been a pioneer in the industry in this respect. The corporation has invested billions of euros per year in research and development, for assistance systems to give even more support to drivers in their work and increase safety for all road users. 

The Safety Dialogue focused on active safety systems, with the main focus on the new Actros. The brand‘s flagship systematically continues the decade-long safety-oriented tradition of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. At the same time, the latest Actros generation strives to contribute to accident-free road use as far as possible, with its active safety systems, thus coming far closer to the vision of accident-free driving. However, in the case of an impending collision, it is at least important to reduce its impact on all concerned. After all, a 40-tonne truck with a speed of 80 km/h has the kinetic energy of a car doing 400 km/h. If there is a crash with this energy, no crumple zone in the world is enough. 

The new Actros in particular is a shining example for the high safety level of modern trucks. This is demonstrated by fifth-generation Active Brake Assist (ABA 5), the emergency braking assistant, Active Drive Assist for semi-automatic driving, MirrorCam instead of main and wide-angle mirrors, and Sideguard Assist with pedestrian and cyclist recognition.

“If you want to see if driving assistance systems really do prevent accidents, just take a look at the statistics,” says Stefan Buchner, member of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, referring to a study which the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (federal road authority) published in 2018. It shows that the number of accidents involving heavy trucks fell by approximately 30 percent between 2002 and 2015. The aim is to reduce this figure even further.

“For us, safety is a matter of social responsibility – and we shoulder this responsibility,” Buchner stressed.