Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps of it’s new Actros at a launch event in Berlin. The new truck boasts a 3-5 per cent boost to fuel economy, packs semi-autonomous driving systems and Active Brake Assist 5, and does away with traditional mirrors – replacing them with cameras and screens on the A-pillars.

Merc said new models of its heavier-duty Arocs will also feature these new technologies.

With Active Drive Assist, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is putting partially automated driving into series production. The new Active Drive Assist can brake, accelerate and steer independently. Unlike systems that only work at certain speeds, Merc said Active Drive Assist offers the driver partially automated driving in all speed ranges for the first time in a series-produced truck. New elements are the active latitudinal control and the combination of longitudinal and lateral control in all speed ranges through the fusion of radar and camera information.

The German manufacturer said Active Drive Assist builds upon its adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, and its lane-keeping assistant.

“With more than 60 innovations, the new Actros already puts the future of heavy-duty trucks on the road today. Just four years after the presentation of the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 driving in automated mode, we are launching the new Actros with the world’s first partially automated assistance system in a series-produced truck,” said Merc Trucks boss, Stefan Buchner.

“We at Daimler Trucks are thus further extending our leading role for automated driving. When fitted with Active Drive Assist, our new Actros makes the logistics business significantly safer for all road users and more efficient for our customers.”

Active Brake Assist 5 supports the driver when there is a danger of a rear-end collision or a collision with person crossing, oncoming or walking in the truck’s lane – also with an automatic full application of the brakes if necessary. A new aspect is that Active Brake Assist 5 now works with a combination of radar and a camera system. This allows it to monitor the space ahead of the vehicle even better and to react to persons in the road even better.

New Actros’ main mirrors and wide-angle mirrors have been replaced by MirrorCam as standard equipment. Merc said the system offers improved all-round visibility and consists of two cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle and two 15-inch displays on the A-pillars inside the driver’s cab.

Inside the cab, two interactive screens are standard equipment and serve as a central source of information for the driver. In addition to all driver-relevant basic information, smartphones are integrated via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Fuel consumption of the new Actros is quoted as being up to three per cent on highways and up to five per cent on country roads over its predecessor. Aerodynamic improvements have been achieved thanks to MirrorCam and new rear-edge flaps.

The intelligent Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) for cruise-control and gear shifting operates more efficiently in new Actros and can now also be used on country roads due to its expanded map material.

In addition, a new, fuel-saving rear-axle ratio is in use.

However, Trucking was told Merc’s Side Guard Assist system – which automatically detects pedestrians and cyclists at the side of the vehicle and stops the truck if a potential collision is detected – is still not available for the UK market.

The new Actros can be ordered as of the IAA 2018 Commercial Vehicles Show and the first vehicles will be delivered to customers next spring.