Mercedes-Benz rigid range boosted by upgrades

An extension of the Active Brake Assist 5 advanced safety package to cover its entire rigid range has been announced by Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The announcement, which applies to the Australian and New Zealand rigid highway range, was made today at the Brisbane Truck Show.

Previously owners of the 8×4 Arocs model had to make do with application-related packaging restrictions.

The rigid range is now also available with the optional Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) and the optional MirrorCam system, with both safety and aerodynamic advantages from removing the traditional mirrors.

Having been upgraded last year, the Mercedes-Benz Trucks rigid range now boasts the Multimedia Cockpit, which consists of two large flat panel screens on the dashboard.

Available in 10- and 12-inch sizes, these high-resolution screens display information in a clear and easy-to-read format. One screen sits beyond the steering wheel and replaces a traditional instrument cluster with a clearly arranged presentation of vehicle data and operating status. It can be controlled by the new steering wheel-mounted Touch Control Buttons.

The left display is a touchscreen unit and can be used to control a vast array of features and examine more information. Although it brings the benefit of touch control, there is also a row of dedicated traditional buttons below the screen to control high-use functions including volume and temperature.

After overcoming some engineering challenges, the 8×4 now features the radar-based Active Brake Assist package alongside its long list of existing safety features including Electronic Stability Program, driver airbag and Lane Departure Warning System.

The Active Brake Assist 5 system uses a radar and camera that work together to try and prevent avoidable collisions. It has the capability to bring the truck to a complete halt when it detects moving pedestrians.

The system can also stop completely for moving or stationary vehicles when the driver may be distracted, something that is proven to save lives and reduce road trauma. The Advanced Emergency Braking System, called Active Brake Assist, is designed to avoid or reduce the impact of collisions including heavy vehicles.

The new Mercedes-Benz rigid range also features Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver if the truck drifts out the lane without the indicator on and Attention Assist, which alerts the driver who is beginning to drive in a fatigue-affected manner.

A very popular part of the safety technology suite is Proximity Control Assist; an adaptive cruise control function that can modulate the speed of the truck in traffic, even when the traffic grinds to a halt.

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