Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific has announced the Mercedes-Benz Actros with optional MirrorCam technology, the first truck in the country to use cameras instead of mirrors, is now available for sale across its dealer network.
The commercial vehicle manufacturer confirmed it was the first road-registered vehicle of any kind in the country with MirrorCam, a technology it describes as both a fuel-saving measure and vision-improving safety feature.
To date there are no cars available in Australia currently equipped with this technology.
“We are proud to lead the pack and offer our customers another innovation that is not available on any other truck,” said Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead.
“The remarkable suite of new technology in the new Actros means the best cab-over truck available in Australia is now even better,” he said via statement.
The optional MirrorCam system, which captures vision from cameras on aerodynamic wings and displays it on screens mounted on the A-pillars in the cabin, delivers a substantial aerodynamic advantage and with it a savings in fuel usage.
It also occasions a dramatic improvement in visibility by removing the traditional mirror and its housing from the driver’s view.
This improvement, according to Daimler, is especially evident at intersections.
The footage from the cameras is shown on 15-inch screens that are mounted in the cabin on the inside surface of the A-pillars. With the screens so close to the position of traditional mirrors, it does not take drivers long to adapt.
The camera is also able to deliver improved rear vision at night and also in the rain.
The MirrorCam wings do not protrude out as far as the traditional mirrors and are higher up on the cab, making them less prone to impact. They can also flex in order to limit damage.
In the event they are damaged, the cost to replace MirrorCam is no more than replacing a traditional side mirror.
The truck also comes with Predictive Powertrain Control, which uses topographic map data to help the truck anticipate terrain and select the optimum shift pattern and engine response to help maximise fuel economy.
A stylish Multimedia Cockpit, consisting of two large customisable tablet screens, has also been introduced on the latest version of the Mercedes-Benz Actros.
It also introduces the fifth-generation of the Mercedes-Benz Active Brake Assist system, a radar/camera system which can now automatically perform full emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians.
Mercedes-Benz has included the ABA system as standard specification in Australia for the past ten years.
The order book is now open on the new Actros after an extensive local validation program with customer fleets, yielded positive results and orders for the model according to Daimler.
According to Andrew Assimo Director of Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific, the new truck will increase driver comfort and deliver new levels of safety while using even less fuel.
“We’re excited about bringing our Australian customers the world’s best heavy truck technology and give them an edge by driving down costs and helping increase their profitability,” he said.
“The existing Actros has been great on fuel, but the new one is even better. That’s certainly the message we’ve been receiving from our validation fleet participants.”
The current Actros became the first truck range made available with Euro6 rated engines for all applications and output levels when it arrived in late 2016 and that remains the case for the new Actros.
The six-cylinder engine hardware continues unchanged in 8-litre, 11-litre, 13-litre and 16-litre forms. It features X-Pulse variable high pressure injection.
Current outputs include the most popular 530hp rated 13-litre and 630hp-rated 16-litre units, which remain largely unchanged.
The new Actros will also be made available with the new SoloStar restful cabin concept. It has reportedly been well received since it was launched in Australia during the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show.
SoloStar offers a new concept for the driver to rest in the cab.
The idea is to create more useable space for the driver during the day. A fold-down bed creates space for a driver to spread out during rest breaks with a café style lounge seat positioned at the back of the cab on the passenger side.
When it is time to sleep, the driver seat is pushed forward and the passenger seat back folded forward to allow for the drop down bed, which features a generous 850mm-wide mattress.
Other changes for the new Actros include new LED daytime running lights within the headlight cluster, the addition of keyless start and a new electronic parking brake, which automatically engages when the engine is switched off.
Mercedes-Benz will offer customers an extra incentive to buy the new Actros with a complimentary Best Basic service plan that applies for 500,000km or five years, whichever comes first.
“The current Actros has impressed customers with its long service intervals and low running costs,” said Assimo.
“We believe the improvements introduced with the new truck will generate even greater savings and our free Best Basic servicing offer further consolidates the Actros as the choice for smart transport business operators in Australia,” he said
For decades vehicle manufacturers have achieved significant advances to make cars and trucks capable of better protecting their occupants in the event of a crash. Now UD Trucks’ focus has widened to engineering solutions that aim to prevent crashes from happening at all with the bonus advantages of improved fuel economy and reduced driver fatigue.