Mercedes-Benz Trucks launches Level 2 automation in Actros models

In Mercedes-Benz, News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 29, 2022

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has introduced Active Drive Assist technology on its Actros models in New Zealand.

The company introduced the technology as an optional feature after a 1.2 million kilometre validation programme that included 20 trucks, including 15 units in Australia and five in New Zealand.

Active Drive Assist helps to actively steer a truck and keep it in the centre of its lane, although the driver is still required to hold the steering wheel. According to Mercedes-Benz, it is one step ahead of some current systems that can push a truck back into the lane should it wander out.

“The Mercedes-Benz Trucks system actually helps to steer the truck in the first place and aims to prevent it getting out to the edge of the lane. The Lane Keeping Assist system is proactive rather than reactive,” it said.

It does this by using cameras to monitor lane markings, and uses that data to help operate the electro-hydraulic steering system. The driver can overrule Lane Keeping Assist at any time and is able to turn off the system.

Active Drive Assist uses an electric motor located on the steering box to provide assistance in addition to the standard hydraulic power steering. It not only helps keep the truck in the lane, but also provides more assistance to the driver and improves manoeuvrability, especially at lower speeds.

“Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ Level 2 automation makes life easier for drivers and boosts safety by helping reduce fatigue,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific director, Andrew Assimo.

“The feedback from our validation programme has been overwhelmingly positive from drivers who can really appreciate the benefits of the system after experiencing it first-hand,” he said. “Mercedes-Benz is always advancing new technology to boost safety, reduce fuel consumption and emissions and improve the experience of the driver, which is why we have introduced Active Drive Assist as an optional feature.”