- Bauma 2019 in Munich: the new Mercedes-Benz Arocs is the Mercedes-Benz Trucks new flagship for construction traffic
- Construction traffic is also entering the digital age: among other features, MirrorCam, Multimedia Cockpit and Active Brake Assist 5 are new in the Arocs
- Final tests before the start of series production: positive feedback from customer Meichle + Mohr’s fleet manager and driver
- Roland Maier, Fleet Manager at Meichle + Mohr: “Even a highly skilled driver with excellent knowledge of the route doesn’t achieve fuel consumption rates in interurban traffic like those of the new Arocs with improved Predictive Powertrain Control.”
Munich – The Bauma 2019 exhibition is aiming for a new record: more than 3,500 exhibitors from fifty-five countries and over 600,000 visitors are expected between 8 and 14 April in Munich. In addition to vehicles, the world’s most important construction industry trade show presents many digital offerings to exhibitors and audiences this year. The new Arocs, presented at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks exhibition stand, reflects this trend with its innovations. What’s tried and tested in the Arocs – its wide range of cabs, engines and all-wheel-drive systems – is now complemented by innovations which sustainably improve safety, connectivity and efficiency. With MirrorCam, Multimedia Cockpit and Active Brake Assist 5 as well as an enhanced version of Predictive Powertrain Control and a newly revised Sideguard Assist, the Arocs sets new standards in heavy construction traffic.
Field-testing the new Arocs as a tipper semitrailer at Meichle + Mohr
In order to ensure the reliability and robustness of the new systems, the Arocs has undergone a final series of field tests involving several customers immediately before the trade show. One of these tests took place at Radolfzell-based Meichle + Mohr. From eighteen locations in the Lake Constance region, the company supplies its customers with macadam, gravel, concrete and precast concrete elements. Almost always its vehicles drive fully loaded through challenging topography, with many short overland route sections. Therefore, Meichle + Mohr have been intensely focusing on the performance of both the MirrorCam and the improved Predictive Powertrain Control, the latter of which is now also usable in interurban traffic.
Predictive Powertrain Control now also in interurban traffic – drive more comfortably and save fuel
Construction vehicles are often used on rural roads. Here, the new Predictive Powertrain Control causes a noticeable drop in fuel consumption. In addition to a satellite-based positioning system, the system uses digital road maps that contain data on topography, road bends, the geometry of intersections and roundabouts as well as traffic signs. This ensures that even in interurban traffic, the new Arocs may always drive in the right gear and at the appropriate speed in order to be as fuel-efficient as possible.
Meichle + Mohr driver Felix Amman has been driving the new Arocs in tipper semi-trailer configuration for several weeks on rural roads all around Lake Constance. His verdict: “Thanks to Predictive Powertrain Control, I can now also drive comfortably overland using cruise control. The system always chooses the right speed for cornering, intersections and roundabouts. And I can just roll toward speed limits and village entrance signs. By the time I pass the sign, I’m driving at exactly the right speed.”
Roland Maier, fleet manager at Meichle + Mohr, emphasises the economic benefits of the intelligent cruise and transmission control: “Even a highly skilled driver with excellent knowledge of the route doesn’t achieve fuel consumption rates in interurban traffic like those of the new Arocs with improved Predictive Powertrain Control.”
New MirrorCam: easier manoeuvring and more information help the driver both on the road an on tight-spaced construction sites
The new MirrorCam replaces the conventional main and wide-angle mirrors in the new Arocs. Its streamlined construction also contributes to the reduced fuel consumption of the Arocs. In terms of safety and handling, the system also offers great benefits. It makes work easier both on the road and in the confined space of building sites for drivers in construction supplier traffic where there are numerous unloading points.
The images from the compact cameras mounted on the side of the roof frame are transmitted to two displays at the A-pillars inside the truck. The absence of the large mirrors considerably improves all-around visibility. The driver also has a good view past the A-pillars diagonally to the front. Using conventional mirror configurations, it is possible for the driver to be on the road with badly adjusted mirrors, causing a so-called “blind area” in which pedestrians and cyclists are not visible. The MirrorCam solves the problem of badly adjusted mirrors entirely: before every engine start, the camera automatically sets itself up for optimal vision. And from any perspective, the display shows a complete image.
Meichle + Mohr driver Felix Amann’s comment on MirrorCam: “The displays on the A-pillars are placed in one’s field of view in a way that allows you to better perceive what is going on around the vehicle. In addition, there is a range of auxiliary functions. For example, the camera toward the inside of the bend swivels during cornering, which gives me an optimal view of the tipper trailer. You just travel more safely with MirrorCam!”
Also available: revised Sideguard Assist, new Active Brake Assist 5 and Multimedia Cockpit
The MirrorCam and the even further improved Sideguard Assist work hand in hand in the new Arocs. By warning the driver with optical and acoustic signals, the Sideguard Assist reduces the risk of dangerous accidents on the passenger side when turning to the right. With this system, Daimler Trucks is currently the only manufacturer to offer such a safety assistance system that is fully integrated into the vehicle architecture. This enables the Sideguard Assist to issue warning messages that take the entire vehicle length into account, and to predict the curve trajectory of the trailer. If the Sideguard Assist is installed, the MirrorCam display shows the warning messages of that system. All relevant hints and indicators are in one place – this avoids the driver being overwhelmed with information. Furthermore, the Sideguard Assist is also able to assist the driver while turning to the left even for trucks with a more than 1.5-metre frame overhang. With this kind of truck, there is the danger that the right-hand rear corner of the trailer may swerve while turning left, causing the danger of a collision between another road user and the truck’s frame overhang. In the new Arocs however, the Sideguard Assist warns the driver of a possible collision of that kind sufficiently in advance.
The emergency brake assistant has also been improved in the new Arocs: Within system limits, the new Active Brake Assist 5 is able to slow down the truck to a standstill if there is the danger of a rear-end collision. This system is now even more powerful than its predecessor and no longer utilises only radar, but a combination of radar and camera system. Among other things, the system’s response to persons in a speed range below 50 km/h has been improved. An important safety gain in inner city traffic.
The new Multimedia Cockpit is intuitively operable. Its high-resolution primary colour display replaces the traditional instrument cluster with its speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge. It gives a clear overview of all relevant driving and operating conditions. In addition to the primary display, a touchscreen replaces the usual switch field. The touchscreen allows the driver to comfortably utilise a wide range of functions, for example operating dump truck or concrete mixer bodies. Furthermore, they can obtain information about vehicle conditions such as tyre pressure at any time.