Whether in terms of efficiency, safety, or comfort, the Mercedes-Benz Actros has been setting a high standard for trucks in the long-distance haulage and heavy-duty distribution haulage sectors since 1996. The latest Actros generation, from 2018 onward, has continually set new milestones with a multitude of innovations in the field of digitalization, networking, and safety. Innovations such as the Multimedia Cockpit, MirrorCam, partially automated driving functions, and enhanced safety systems ensure that the Actros admirably fulfills the increasing demands of the road haulage sector while sustainably supporting the driver in completing his or her tasks. From the launch of two new models in 2021 – the Actros F with its focus on functionality and the limited edition Actros Edition 2 – Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now introducing the Actros L, the largest and most equipped of this successful model series. The heavy-duty truck with conventional diesel powertrain can be ordered Europe-wide from 1 July 2021 and goes into production in November 2021.
“When developing the Actros L, we placed particular focus on driver comfort, safety, connectivity and Total Cost of Ownership to create further benefits in these aspects for our customers and their drivers,” says Andreas von Wallfeld, Head of Marketing, Sales and Services at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Thanks to close dialogue with customers, there is clear knowledge of what these customers want from a premium truck for both their company and their drivers. “And it’s precisely these requirements that we addressed in the Actros L, and as a result, we have been able to design and configure our new flagship to the appropriately high standards,” von Wallfeld emphasizes.
Exceptional spaciousness and high-quality equipment for enhanced driver comfort
It begins with the driver’s cab, which on the StreamSpace, BigSpace, and GigaSpace variants is 2.5 meters wide and makes for an exceptionally spacious interior. The lack of an engine tunnel means that the cab has a flat floor, creating a really comfortable ambiance. The improved cab noise and heat insulation keep unwanted and annoying noise at bay to assist with relaxation, particularly at break times.
The seating position has been lowered by 40 millimeters for more relaxed driving and a comfortable road view. On a related note, the optionally available, newly designed LED main headlamps to have a higher light intensity than xenon headlamps and provide excellent illumination of the road – a huge plus when it comes to safety, especially when it’s dark. And there’s a cost-effectiveness benefit too: compared to conventional bulbs, LED headlamps are more energy-efficient and have a longer service life.
Aiming to enhance driver comfort and convenience are various equipment details, including stylish seat covers, new door trim, a comfortable mattress with a 45-mm thick topper, and a pleasantly tactile cab rear panel in the bed area. The sense of well-being can be further boosted with the numerous Interior Line accessories from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. Von Wallfeld is firmly convinced: “For transport companies, the Actros L is a really strong asset, especially in light of the acute shortage of drivers.”
Excellent safety features
With the Actros L too, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is systematically pursuing its goal of helping to make road traffic as safe as possible by utilizing active safety assistance systems. In doing so, it is taking another step closer to realizing its vision of accident-free driving. This is evidenced not just by Lane Keeping Assist, Proximity Control Assist, and MirrorCam, which replaces the main and wide-angle mirrors but also by a host of other safety features.
For example, optionally available for the Actros L is the Mercedes-Benz Sideguard Assist S1X which, compared with the previous system S1R, is equipped with a further function that could potentially save lives. This new system, called Active Sideguard Assist, no longer simply warns the driver of moving pedestrians or cyclists on the co-driver’s side. If the driver then fails to respond to the warnings in time, it can now initiate an automated braking maneuver at turning speeds of up to 20 km/h to bring the vehicle to a standstill. Active Sideguard Assist can recognize the need for such a braking maneuver and prevent a potential collision in an ideal scenario.
Another equipment option for the Actros L is the second generation Active Drive Assist (ADA 2). Under certain preconditions, the system actively assists the driver with the longitudinal and lateral guidance of the truck. It can automatically maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead, accelerate and steer if the necessary system conditions such as sufficient curve radius or clearly visible road markings are met. In addition, ADA 2 includes the Emergency Stop Assist sub-function, which can initiate an emergency stop if the driver is no longer controlling the steering wheel, despite visual and audible warnings. If the truck comes to a standstill, the system can automatically engage the new electronic parking brake. In addition, the doors are unlocked so that paramedics and other first responders can directly reach the driver in case of a medical emergency.
If an emergency braking assistant is required by law, the Actros L is also equipped Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA 5) as a standard feature, a Pedestrian recognition function. This system can help to avoid accidents where, due to the driver being distracted, the following distance being too short, or an inappropriate speed, the truck is at risk of colliding with a vehicle ahead or a stationary vehicle, or there is a risk of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. ABA 5 works using a combined radar and camera system. If the system detects the risk of an accident with a vehicle driving in front, a stationary obstacle, or a person (crossing the vehicle’s path, coming towards the vehicle, walking in the same lane as the vehicle, or suddenly coming to a stop in fright), the system initially emits a visual and audible warning to the driver. If the driver fails to respond appropriately, the system can then initiate partial braking in a second stage. If the threat of a collision continues, ABA 5 can perform automated maximum full-stop braking – at vehicle speeds of up to 50 km/h when responding to moving persons.
With all assistance systems, Mercedes-Benz Trucks aims to support the driver as much as possible within the system limits. However, as the law prescribes, the driver remains fully responsible for driving the vehicle safely at all times.
Greater efficiency through made-to-measure connectivity
The intelligent cruise and transmission control system Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) is also impressive in conjunction with these assistance systems. The system can consider the topography, the course of a road, and traffic signs in certain situations. This means that unnecessary braking, accelerating, and gear shifting can be avoided. With the help of PPC, the latest Actros generation consumes up to three percent less diesel on expressways and motorways than vehicles not equipped with the system, while on rural roads, it can even be as much as five percent less. On fuel efficiency, the new Eco-Support display in the Multimedia Cockpit Interactive helps the driver adopt a driving style that’s as economical as possible.
The driver is shown the activities and functions of assistance systems such as ABA 5, ADA 2, or PPC in the standard user-friendly Multimedia Cockpit. Its two-color displays form the centerpiece of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In the Actros L, this also includes an optional feature displays for the total weight of the towing vehicle and trailer and the front axle load, even for semitrailer trucks with only partial air suspension. This helps the driver to keep an eye on the weight and prevent overloading.
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Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal features a host of tried-and-tested and new applications offering immense added value.
If you decide to purchase the Multimedia Cockpit Interactive as an upgrade to the standard version, you also receive fast access to the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. This enables haulage companies to harness the new connectivity opportunities and equip their vehicles with efficiency- and comfort-enhancing apps such as telematics services from FleetBoard. The individually combinable services enable intelligent networking of drivers, fleet, and orders. All of them help to optimize consumption, reduce wear and increase vehicle utilization. The Fleetboard Performance Analysis, for example, enables driving behavior to be evaluated and optimized; Fleetboard Time Management provides a detailed insight into the driver’s driving times and breaks times, while Fleetboard Mapping displays the status and position of the vehicles. And with Fleetboard Driver Card and Mass Memory Download, it is possible to read, transmit and save all relevant data remotely.
The HABBL logistics application from Fleetboard Logistics is particularly worthy of mention because it takes drivers through their work orders step by step. The driver can operate the app concurrently on the Multimedia Cockpit of the Actros L and any Android mobile device, for tasks outside the vehicle. Everyone involved in the transport process – driver, dispatcher, and end customer always get the information they want. This increases process quality while creating a high level of transparency.
Also new to the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal is Dashdoc, for 100 percent paperless order processing (digital consignment notes and eCMR), the communication and order management solution YellowFleetApp, the mobile service manager (mSM) for digital order and fleet management, the transport management app with digital PlanBoard and ArealPilot auto dispatcher, Mobile Enterprise, the logistics app for mobile data acquisition out on the road and the mobile scanner solution Scangaroo.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime is a digital protective safety shield also for the Actros L.
The Truck Data Centre is the centerpiece of FleetBoard and serves as the basis for other vehicle connectivity solutions. The connectivity module receives the data from the sensors, cameras, and steering devices in the truck and analyses these for various applications. The Truck Data Center not only forms the basis for FleetBoard’s numerous services but also for Mercedes-Benz Uptime, the service for consistent increases in vehicle availability.
Mercedes-Benz Uptime combines intelligent vehicle networking with intensive customer support, providing the customers of Mercedes-Benz Trucks with an innovative service product. The objective is to assist customers in fulfilling their transport orders reliably by ensuring that the trucks spend as much time out on the road as possible. Workshop appointments need to be kept to a minimum and planned more efficiently. To reduce breakdowns, any repairs needed are identified as early as possible. Customers are given assistance with arranging the necessary work at short notice at all times due to their operational planning requirements. The results are better planning of workshop visits, greater vehicle availability, and higher road safety.
Individually configurable service packages and tailor-made leasing, financing, and insurance solutions complete the range of services for the Actros L and ensure greater planning security in these areas. Mercedes-Benz Trucks is continually looking to innovative solutions in this regard, as demonstrated perfectly by the Mercedes-Benz CompleteMile service contract. Like Mercedes-Benz Complete, the flexible service contract encompasses all workshop work, including wear parts, but its concept is different: the monthly rate depends on the actually driven kilometers. So it makes no difference whether the customer is active in a cyclical sector such as construction or agriculture or has stronger or weaker business months and therefore frequently changing mileages. Mercedes-Benz CompleteMile can therefore contribute to cash flow optimization. The mileages are automatically sent via Mercedes-Benz Uptime to the Mercedes-Benz Trucks IT systems and are seamlessly processed for digitalized invoicing.
PHOTO GALLERY – Mercedes-Benz Trucks – The Actros L