Daimler Trucks is the world’s first — and so far only — automaker to offer a turning assistant for its commercial vehicles. This feature makes it possible to avoid accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
The turning assistant has been available for Mercedes-Benz Trucks since 2016. It was initially available in Actros long-distance haulage trucks and is since recently also available for Arocs construction vehicles. Today the safety system can be ordered for more than 20 vehicle variants. In 2017, one out of every four Mercedes trucks delivered in Germany was equipped with it. And this offer is expanding: The Mercedes-Benz Econic is now also available with the turning assistant and Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian recognition.
As a garbage collection vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz Econic operates in cities and residential districts. In such areas it’s not unusual for the drivers to encounter challenging traffic situations, such as pedestrians emerging from between parked cars and cyclists attempting to pass vehicles.
Potentially hazardous situations of this kind pose high demands on safety systems.
In the past, such systems served mainly to avoid serious accidents on highways and arterial roads. But now Mercedes-Benz Trucks is writing a new chapter in accident prevention with the fourth-generation Active Brake Assist and the turning assistant. Both of these systems have a person recognition function. The systems can primarily protect the most vulnerable road users. Active Brake Assist 4 is the first emergency braking system in trucks that can significantly reduce the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.
Fourth generation of Active Brake Assist
The system is able to warn the driver of a collision and in addition automatically initiates partial braking at the same time. This enables the driver to avoid a collision by means of maximum full-stop braking or a steering maneuver. The driver can additionally warn pedestrians in danger by sounding the horn.
Moving pedestrians can be detected by the system in virtually any traffic situation, for example if they walk into the truck's lane from the side, emerge from behind an obstacle or are moving along the vehicle's lane.
Sideguard Assist: warning of collisions with cyclists or pedestrians
A further key assistance system is Sideguard Assist. Manoeuvres involving turning off are part and parcel of the Econic's deployment as a waste collection vehicle in city traffic. Ultimately all roads within a defined area have to be driven down. The driver has to pay attention to traffic lights, signs, oncoming and crossing traffic and at the same time keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists at the side of the vehicle.
Now, if there is a moving object in the right side monitoring zone, the driver is initially provided with a visible warning. An LED in the shape of a triangle lights up at the driver's eye level in the A-pillar on the co-driver's side. The light intuitively attracts the driver's attention to the situation alongside the vehicle and towards the outside mirrors on the co-driver's side. If there is a risk of collision, an additional visual and audible warning is triggered: the LED flashes brightly several times in red. After two seconds, it remains permanently illuminated in red. In the event of an imminent collision, a warning tone additionally sounds from a radio system speaker on the side in question.