Mercedes-Benz Actros, Modelljahr 2018, mit Active Brake Assist 5

Mercedes-Benz launched its refreshed Actros in Berlin last week (6 September).

Although it features similar exterior styling to its predecessor, the latest truck stands out for what it does not have: exterior mirrors. Instead, the flagship truck features a MirrorCam instead, something the manufacturer claims improves fuel efficiency too.

The headline fuel economy improvement figure is up to 5%, but that’s only on rural routes. On motorways the improvements are likely to be up to 3%. The savings have been achieved by improving the satellite-based Predictive Powertrain Control intelligent cruise control, which Mercedes claims is more efficient than before.

Also helping to reduce fuel consumption are new rear-axle ratios. The truck is a little bit more slippery than its predecessor too, thanks to the external mirrors being replaced by cameras, new concave-shaped cab side deflectors, and an improved roof spoiler.

In terms of driver safety, the big news is Active Drive Assist, which makes the truck semi-autonomous at all speeds. Meanwhile, Active Brake Assist 5 not only helps to eradicate rear-end collisions, but is better at protecting pedestrians than its predessessor.

The truck’s main and wide-angle mirrors have been replaced by MirrorCam, which consists of two cameras mounted on the cab’s exterior, and a pair of 15in screens on the A-pillars – a first for a series produced model.

The fifth generation of Active Brake Assist uses a radar and camera system. The main benefit to this is that in addition to spotting and reacting to moving people, it will also recognise static pedestrians and apply the brakes.

The new Actros features level two automated driving. The optional Active Drive Assist package, which combines the Proximity Control Assist system with Lane Keeping Assist, uses radar and camera data to brake, accelerate and steer the truck. The system, which has a stop-and-go function for use in heavy traffic, keeps a safe distance between the truck and the vehicle in front.

Prices will be announced at the IAA Show in Hannover next week and UK order books will be open on 1 October, with deliveries starting in April 2019.