MB introduces level two automation trucks to Australia


The truck company now includes automation add-ons with its Australian trucks

MB introduces level two automation trucks to Australia
The new wave of Australian trucks will have an automation option

Customers in Australia can now order a Mercedes-Benz truck that can help steer itself as part of the brand’s level two automation trucks.

In a first for Australian heavy trucks, automation is now available on Actros models, the active drive assist technology now enables SAE level two partially automated driving capability.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has introduced the innovative driver assistance technology as an optional feature after a successful 1.2 million kilometre validation program that included 20 trucks, including 15 units in Australia and five in New Zealand.

Active drive assist helps to actively steer the truck and keep it in the centre of its lane, although the driver is still required to hold the steering wheel.

It is one step ahead of some current systems that can push a truck back into the lane should it wander out, while 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.

It does this by using cameras to monitor lane markings and uses that data to help operate the electro-hydraulic steering system, with the driver being able to overrule lane keeping assist at any time and being able to turn off the system.

MB trucks in Australia will now have level two automation attached

Active drive assist uses an electric motor located on the steering box to provide assistance in addition to the standard hydraulic power steering.

This not only helps keep the truck in the lane, but also provides more assistance to the driver and improving manoeuvrability, especially at lower speeds.


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"Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ level two automation makes life easier for drivers and boosts safety by helping reduce fatigue," MB Trucks Australia Pacific director Andrew Assimo says.

"The feedback from our validation program has been overwhelmingly positive from drivers who can really appreciate the benefits of the system after experiencing it first-hand."

Assimo says the level two Automation system is not taking control away from drivers as they are required to hold the steering wheel at all times and must be prepared to take over at any stage.

"This is a driver assistance feature, not a driver replacement feature," he says. 

"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."

While Mercedes-Benz Trucks makes features such as its level two Automation and innovative mirror cam feature optional, a suite of advanced safety features is standard on every truck its sells.

Active brake assist five includes an Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS), adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

"Mercedes-Benz has long been leading the pack when it comes to fully-integrated active safety systems in Australia and we intend to continue this leadership with features such as Active Drive Assist," Assimo concludes. 

Other key technology introduced by Mercedes-Benz Trucks includes high resolution multimedia cockpit tablet screens and predictive powertrain control, which uses GPS and topographic information to optimise gearshifts and maximise coasting to save as much fuel as possible.

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