Safety systems from Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Mercedes-Benz Vans at the IAA Commercial Vehicles
- Daimler Trucks: new Actros with Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5 and the sensational MirrorCam
- Daimler Buses: Active Brake Assist 4 as standard in all touring coaches, Preventive Brake Assist for city buses, Sideguard Assist
- Mercedes-Benz Vans: new Sprinter with distance control system DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Parking Packages including 360-degree camera
Avoiding accidents, protecting the more vulnerable road users – safety is one of the key priorities for Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Practically all safety assistance systems have celebrated their premieres here over the years - a tradition that is continued at this year's IAA with a series of revolutionary new assistance systems. The range varies from radar-based cornering assistants and active lane keeping assistants through emergency braking assistants with enhanced functionality and active brake assist systems to networked systems involving partially autonomous driving capability and the MirrorCam with a significantly extended field of vision in the place of conventional outside mirrors.
Daimler Trucks: new Actros with Active Drive Assist, Active Brake Assist 5 and the sensational MirrorCam
The new Actros continues to build on its role as a pioneer of safety. The most important and spectacular new feature in this area is Active Drive Assist. This gives the driver access to partially automated driving at all speed ranges for the first time in a production truck. New features include active lateral control and the combination of longitudinal and lateral control in all speed ranges by combining radar and camera information.
Active Drive Assist builds on the proven Proximity Control Assist system with stop-and-go function, as well as on Lane Keeping Assist. The truck brakes of its own accord if it gets too close to another vehicle in front of it and then accelerates back up to a predetermined speed. What is new here is that Active Drive Assist also actively helps the driver to keep the vehicle in lane: within the limits of the system, it uses a camera to keep the truck in its lane by making interventions in the steering. While the driver retains responsibility for the vehicle's interaction with the traffic, the system offers makes the task noticeably easier and makes an important contribution to safety on the road.
Close interaction of the various assistance systems and technologies
All the assistance systems in the new Actros are closely coordinated: Active Drive Assist, for example, acts in accordance with the data provided by the improved Predictive Powertrain Control system. What is more, Active Drive Assist uses the same further developed radar and camera technology as the likewise new Active Brake Assist 5.
The new Active Brake Assist 5, an enhancement of Active Brake Assist 4, offers some exceptional features. New here is the way the radar and camera systems interact. The system is now, for instance, able to react to people in the speed range up to 50 km/h. Active Brake Assist 5 is capable of applying full braking when encountering pedestrians crossing its path, approaching from the front or walking ahead.
If Active Brake Assist 5 detects the risk of an accident with a vehicle travelling ahead, a stationary obstacle or a pedestrian, the driver is alerted to the danger by a multi-stage warning system. If the driver fails to react, the system will apply full emergency braking, within system limits.
Unique: Sideguard Assist with pedestrian detection
Sideguard Assist, too, is able to detect pedestrians as well as moving or stationary objects. The system can help the driver of a left-hand drive vehicle making a right-hand turn to avoid collisions with, for instance, cyclists, pedestrians or stationary obstacles. If a moving or stationary object is identified within the monitoring zone on the vehicle's nearside, the driver is provided with a visible warning. If there is a risk of collision, an additional visual and acoustic warning is triggered. Sideguard Assist has been available since 2016 for heavy-duty trucks from Mercedes-Benz, where it monitors both the tractor unit and the trailer or semi-trailer. In Germany, every third Actros or Antos already comes equipped with the system.
Sensational: the new Actros with MirrorCam for improved all-round visibility
As the first series-produced vehicle in the world with this feature, the new Actros with L cab or above is fitted as standard with a MirrorCam instead of a conventional outside mirror. This camera system uses just digital cameras and displays. An important side effect here is that the driver now has a good, diagonal view past the A-pillars, increasing the field of vision and enhancing safety.
The MirrorCam has multiple functions that help the driver: when driving forwards, the classic and familiar division of the field of view is shown on the display, echoing the pattern with conventional mirrors. When taking corners with a tractor unit and semitrailer, however, the image on the display on the inside of the bend is pivoted to provide an optimal view of the entire trailer. Distance lines help to provide a clearer assessment of the traffic behind. There is also an additional line that can be individually set, e.g. to show the end of the trailer, thereby making precision manoeuvring by the centimetre even easier. Once it starts to get dark, the background illumination of the screen automatically adjusts to the level of ambient light. The MirrorCam also features a special manoeuvring view when reversing. The upper part of the display shows the area close to the vehicle and the lower part of the display shows the area away from the vehicle with a certain degree of overlap. If Sideguard Assist is installed the MirrorCam displays warnings in critical driving conditions.
Daimler Buses: Active Brake Assist 4 as standard in all touring coaches, Preventive Brake Assist for city buses, Sideguard Assist
Active Brake Assist 4 – ABA 4, for short – with pedestrian detection marks a further high point in the development of assistance systems at Daimler Buses. Not only will it automatically initiate full emergency braking for moving and stationary obstacles ahead, it will also warn the driver of a potential collision with pedestrians and, at the same time, automatically initiate partial braking. This gives the driver every opportunity to prevent a collision with a pedestrian: The driver can warn the pedestrian using the horn, initiate full emergency braking or steer to avoid the collision. Active Brake Assist 4 will become standard equipment on all touring coaches from Mercedes‑Benz and Setra from 2019.
Preventive Brake Assist: the first ever active brake assist system for city buses
In Preventive Brake Assist, Mercedes‑Benz introduces the first active emergency braking assist system ever for city buses as a world premiere. The new assistance system warns of a potential collision with moving pedestrians or with stationary or moving objects, and automatically initiates partial braking if it identifies an acute risk of a collision. The warning cascade and the braking intervention are designed for use in city traffic.
Preventive Brake Assist works similarly to Active Brake Assist 4. If there is a risk of collision, Preventive Brake Assist will warn the driver both visually and acoustically and, at the same time, initiate partial braking. Preventive Brake Assist, intentionally, does not perform an automatic emergency stop, thereby reducing the risk of injury to passengers in the bus. However, the option of an individually initiated emergency stop is always available to the driver.
Preventive Brake Assist is available as an option for the entire model family of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and the Mercedes-Benz Conecto.
Sideguard Assist: the first cornering assistance system for buses and coaches
Mercedes‑Benz and Setra are now the first bus and coach brands to offer the radar-based cornering assistance system Sideguard Assist with pedestrian detection. The system is available from Mercedes-Benz for all versions of its Citaro urban bus and for the Tourismo high-deck touring coach, and it is available from Setra for its ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 touring coaches. Sideguard Assist operates in several stages: it first of all informs the driver when a relevant object is located in the warning zone. In a second stage the driver is alerted by a visual signal in the nearside exterior mirror or, in the case of the Citaro, in the A0-pillar, and by vibrations in the driver's seat if the driver initiates or continues action that could potentially cause a collision.
Mercedes-Benz Vans: new Sprinter with distance control system DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Parking Packages including 360-degree camera
Mercedes-Benz Vans is also once again fulfilling its role as an innovation driver and pioneer in the introduction of modern safety technologies. With the arrival of the new Sprinter, a whole range of optional safety and assistance systems are now making their debut at Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Among them is the radar-based distance control system DISTRONIC. The driver simply sets the desired speed, and the system automatically maintains an adequate safety distance from the vehicle ahead. If this distance lessens, the vehicle speed is reduced with up to 50 percent of the maximum brake force. If necessary, the active distance control system will also brake the Sprinter to a standstill, within the system limits. If a collision appears imminent, Active Brake Assist will intervene.
Active Lane Keeping Assist warns a driver who appears to be drifting inadvertently out of lane by means of vibrations in the steering wheel. If the driver fails to react despite the vibration warning when a solid lane marking is crossed, Active Lane Keeping Assist guides the vehicle back into its lane by one-sided braking action.
Support for the driver from Parking Packages based on a modular concept
The Parking package with Parking Assist and reversing camera warns the driver of obstacles by means of visual and acoustic signals. The sensors cover all areas in front of, next to and behind the vehicle. The visual warning by Parking Assist and the image from the reversing camera are shown on the multimedia display. Drive Away Assist, as a further element of the Parking Package, helps the driver when pulling away. If an obstacle is detected as well, the system limits the speed to 3 km/h. If, in addition, the optional Blind Spot Assist system is fitted, this is able to detect vehicles or pedestrians crossing behind the vehicle and to brake in an emergency.
Even better all-round visibility is offered by the Parking Package with 360-degree camera with four cameras. The multimedia display shows a full, all-round, bird's eye view of the vehicle.
Crosswind Assist is of course also on board as standard, as it makes van journeys considerably safer, especially at higher speeds.
All assistance systems in all vehicles work within system limits at all times to their full capacity. The driver retains full responsibility with respect to the road and traffic conditions.