‘Mirrorless’ Actros and Arocs in New Zealand’s view

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The new Mercedes-Benz Actros and Arocs have arrived in New Zealand, complete with the manufacturer’s innovative MirrorCam system. These are the first trucks available in the country with optional cameras instead of side mirrors.

MirrorCam captures vision from cameras mounted on aerodynamic wings above the doors and displays it on 15” vertical screens mounted on the A-pillars in the cabin. According to Mercedes-Benz, this saves fuel and provides improved rearward vision, especially at night and 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, says Mercedes-Benz, the cost to replace a MirrorCam is no more than replacing a traditional side mirror.

Adding to the safety aspect is the fifth generation of the Mercedes-Benz Active Brake Assist system, a radar/camera system that works to try prevent preventable collisions, that can now automatically perform full emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians. The new Actros also comes with Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver if the truck drifts out the lane without the indicator on, and Attention Assist, which alerts the driver who is beginning to drive in a fatigue-affected manner. A very popular part of the safety technology suite is Proximity Control Assist, an adaptive cruise control function that can modulate the speed of the truck in heavy traffic, even when the traffic grinds to a halt. 

Furthermore, the new Actros and Arocs feature new LED daytime running lights within the headlight cluster, the addition of keyless start, and a new electronic parking brake that automatically engages when the engine is switched off.

The existing Euro 6, 6-cylinder engine line-up continues unchanged, in 8-, 11-, 13- and 16-litre forms, with outputs ranging from 223kW (300hp) to 470kW (630hp). Predictive Powertrain Control is new, and uses pre-mapped three-dimensional GPS topographic data to help the truck anticipate terrain and select the optimum shift pattern and engine response for maximum fuel economy. The system already contains data for New Zealand’s A and B roads (and many more), and it also learns the routes it travels on.

The new Actros model line-up includes 6x4 Actros prime movers, 6x4 and 6x2 Actros rigids, 6x4 and 8x4 Arocs rigids and 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 Arocs rigids.

Inside the cab most physical buttons and instruments have been consigned to the MultiMedia Cockpit that consists of two 12” customisable touchscreens that ‘present information in super-crisp detail, giving the driver more control and information in a clear and stylish manner’. It can be controlled by the new steering wheel-mounted Touch Control Buttons. Additionally, the centre screen system has been designed to run third-party apps that customers may wish to use, such as telemetry systems (Mercedes-Benz will continue to offer its locally-developed telematics service for the new Actros), which would be certified through the MB Trucks App Portal. Local validation for this function is currently under way.

Finally, also available is the new SoloStar restful cabin concept introduced last year. SoloStar replaces the fixed bed with an 850mm-wide fold-down bed, creating ample space for a driver to spread out during rest breaks, or before bed using the café-style lounge seat positioned at the back of the cab on the passenger side.

“We’re excited about bringing our New Zealand customers the world’s best heavy truck technology and give them an edge by driving down costs and helping increase their profitability. 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,” says Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific director Andrew Assimo.

Mercedes-Benz is offering a complimentary Best Basic service plan that applies for 500,000km or five years, whichever comes first, with its new models.