Feedback from drivers, entrepreneurs and developers
Böpple Automotive GmbH tested the new Actros even before the start of series production. For Böpple driver Torsten Reinholz the new MirrorCam makes his work safer:
"I quickly got used to the new MirrorCam in everyday driving. Even after a few days I didn't want to do without it. Take the distance lines for following traffic, for example: when passing on the motorway I no longer depend on my colleague being considerate and flashing his lights when I've passed. The system simply indicates on the display in the cab when I can pull back into the right lane. The MirrorCam is also a real help when cornering: the camera image swivels with the vehicle so that I can always keep an eye on the axles and the end of my semi-trailer. Also practical is the manual adjustability of the brightness of the displays. The cameras can also be heated at the press of a button. I like a lot that while resting or sleeping I can at all times monitor the vehicle environment using a switch in the door and at the bunk. This gives me a sense of security during breaks."
You can find the report on Torsten Reinholz and the new Actros online at roadstars.mercedes-benz.com
For Dominik Böpple, CEO of Böpple Automotive GmbH, the innovations of the new Actros increase the competitiveness of his company:
"The new Actros signals a new era of truck construction: more connectivity and greater automation lead to greater efficiency and safety. We've already experienced this in the new Actros: the new MirrorCam, for example, doesn't just improve aerodynamics; it lowers fuel consumption as well. It also facilitates vehicle handling, so that minor damage hardly ever occurs. Thanks to the new Active Drive Assist, driving is semi-automated to a large extent. That's safer and less stressful. The Multimedia Cockpit also offers advantages: the driver's communication with us at the depot is a lot more simple and less susceptible to error. I always say: if you don't go forwards, you go backwards. That is why we are so open to innovations. Times are indeed changing. We as a company have to keep pace. The new Actros has made our fleet absolutely fit for the future."
A film about Dominik Böpple and the test Actros is available here: roadstars.mercedes-benz.com
For Markus Wolf, test driver at Daimler Trucks, the new Actros has much to offer for keeping the driver fit – and fuel consumption low:
"We did an awful lot of driving away from the main traffic arteries in order to do as many test kilometres as possible in all kinds of traffic and road conditions. Taking the cross-country route with many roundabouts and winding roads can be quite exhausting after a while. But the new Actros has a lot to offer that supports us drivers: the new Active Drive Assist allows partially automated driving along well marked lanes. The new MirrorCam not only affords better all-around visibility, the information in its display also supports us in the greatest variety of situations. And thanks to the overhauled Predictive Powertrain Control, I can now also drive on long-distance routes with cruise control. That's not only much more convenient, it also further lowers fuel consumption."
You can find the "making-of" film for the new Actros with Markus Wolf online at media.daimler.com
For Carsten Barth, Development Engineer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the interplay of Sideguard Assist and MirrorCam marks great progress:
"As a driver you get much better all-around visibility with the MirrorCam. Your view to the right is free since the gigantic outside mirrors are gone. That's very pleasant when manoeuvring and on tight curves, and quite simply a plus in safety. Moreover, many drivers travel with their mirrors wrongly adjusted and thereby create blind spots. The MirrorCam has eliminates this problem, as the display shows the same complete image from every perspective. Also helpful is that the MirrorCam display shows the warnings of Sideguard Assist. Mercedes-Benz Trucks was the first truck manufacturer to introduce this system some years ago. For me, the interplay between Sideguard Assist and the MirrorCam greatly contributes to better protecting the weakest road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians."
You can find further press material about Carsten Barth and the Safety Truck online at media.daimler.com
For Annelie Mohrs, Designer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, the leap into the digital world is an opportunity to provide drivers with even greater support:
"The new Actros marks the change from the analogue to the digital world: the instruments in the cockpit have largely been replaced by displays. That was a gigantic leap that afforded many new possibilities to us designers. An exciting example is the new Active Drive Assist. For this, very many different driving scenarios, which are represented in the central display, had to be completely redeveloped. Also the intelligent cruise and transmission control, Predictive Powertrain Control, is now capable of much more and we have made that visible. The bottom line is that drivers want a simple system, not a complex machine that they have to read up on first. We always need to take this into account when designing the interface between humans and machines. That's why we've designed the user-interface elements in the new Actros for intuitive operation. Their logic is familiar from our everyday routines – from tablets and smartphones."
You can find a film about Annelie Mohrs and her work online at media.daimler.com
Horst Junghans, Chief Engineer for the New Actros in Development at Daimler, emphasises that many of the innovations of the new Actros have attained production-standard quality only at Mercedes-Benz Trucks:
"The focus of the new Actros lays less on the optimisation of mechanical components, and more on the development of intelligent mechatronic systems. Active Drive Assist, MirrorCam, a new Multimedia Cockpit, Active Brake Assist 5 and Predictive Powertrain Control for long-distance routes – these are highly innovative systems that at present are available in production-standard quality and in this powerful package only at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. We set ourselves the task of not just talking about pioneering topics like assisted driving, digitisation and connectivity, but also of bringing into series production very concrete innovative solutions for the challenges faced by freight carriers and drivers. We have already developed to production standard many of the innovations thematically presented just five years ago with the FutureTruck 2025. The new Actros moreover provides an outstanding basis for successful further work on important issues of the future in truck construction."