LEINFELDEN-ECHTERDINGEN, Germany – The automatic emergency braking (AEB) assistant, which was presented for the first time in 2006, has a special success story. Active Brake Assist has been sold more than a million times to date in vehicles from Daimler Truck.
The vision of accident-free driving motivates Daimler Truck for all trucks and buses that are developed and produced in the group of companies and sold under the brands Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, FUSO, Setra, Thomas Built Buses, Western Star, Bharat Benz and RIZON.
The company has set itself the objective of equipping at least 75 percent of the vehicles delivered in its core markets in 2025 and at least 80 percent in 2030 with a safety system that surpasses legal requirements in terms of scope and performance.
The great importance that Daimler Truck attaches to road safety is pointed out by the fact that the issue is firmly established in the long-term sustainable business strategy. Within the brand portfolio of Daimler Truck, the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for technological pioneering achievements in the area of safety – the relevant safety systems are frequently used at Mercedes-Benz Trucks first and are then successively offered in other brands according to the global platform strategy depending on market requirements and customer requests.
In 2022 alone, a variety of new safety and assistance systems were available in other markets, brands and models – such as Active Sideguard Assist in the Freightliner Cascadia and Active Drive Assist 2 in the Setra ComfortClass and TopClass coaches.
The company has always been a pioneer in the industry in terms of assistance systems. The developers at Daimler Truck have been working for years to provide drivers with ever better support in their work with assistance systems and thus further improve the safety of all road users.
Comprehensive Integral Safety concept
Commercial vehicle (CV) accident research by the company plays a central role in development at Daimler Truck. With its accident analyses, it has been preparing the fundamentals for continually incorporating further optimization measures into the vehicles since 1972. And always in accordance with the comprehensive Integral Safety concept.
The passive and active safety systems installed in the vehicle can then provide support in four phases: first while driving, secondly in the event of danger, thirdly in the event of an accident and fourthly after a collision.
Trucks have become safer and safer in recent years. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the number of fatalities in accidents involving goods vehicles fell from 889 to 613 between 2011 and 2021 – i.e. by almost 30 percent. In the same period, the number of road accident vehicle occupants killed by goods vehicles fell from 174 to 140 – almost 20 percent.
A positive development, particularly in view of the almost 15 percent increase in transport volume between 2011 and 2021 according to the Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung (BGL) e.V. Looking at the development in Germany over an even longer period of time, it can be seen that, according to BGL, the number of people killed in a truck accident per billion ton-kilometers driven fell from 7.5 to 1.2 between 1992 and 2021.
This corresponds to a decrease of 84 percent. By this measure, serious injuries fell from 52.9 to 11.2 – a decrease of 79 percent. However, all this must not hide the fact that in the worst case, every accident entails a great deal of human suffering and high consequential costs.
One step ahead of the times
Daimler Truck is pursuing the approach of ensuring a very high level of safety for its vehicles on the part of the manufacturer. For that reason, the company has been installing numerous systems long before they were required by law. For instance, Mercedes-Benz Trucks was the first manufacturer to introduce the anti-lock braking system (ABS) for trucks as early as 1981.
The anti-slip control ASR followed a few years later. With the introduction of the first Actros in 1996, Mercedes-Benz Trucks once again set standards with the EBS electronic brake system. Proximity Control Assist and Lane Assistant followed in 2000 as further revolutionary safety systems and in 2001 the Electronic Stability Program ESP for trucks. In 2002, a hill holder as a starting-off aid and Brake Assist celebrated their premiere in the second generation of the Actros.
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