Auto emergency-stop function for non-responsive drivers in Actros from 2021

In a significant improvement to safety, from June 2021 most Merecedes-Benz Actros trucks will have Active Drive Assist 2.

It comprises an emergency stop function that can automatically brake the vehicle to a complete halt in case of an emergency, where the driver is failing to respond, for example if they fall asleep or are taken ill.

When it comes to increasing vehicle safety, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has always been a pioneer in the industry. The company has invested hundreds of millions of euros per year in research and development, for assistance systems to provide even greater assistance to drivers in their work and increase safety for all road users. Recent examples include Active Drive Assist 2 with automatic emergency stop function.

Because each accident is one too many, everything has to be done to avoid an accident or at least ameliorate the consequences for all involved.

For more safety in traffic, assistance systems that can actively support the driver in situations recognised as dangerous by the systems without absolving him or her of responsibility are of crucial importance.

With systems such as the fifth-generation emergency braking assistant Active Brake Assist (ABA 5), Active Drive Assist for partially automated driving (SAE level 2), and MirrorCam in lieu of main and wide-angle mirrors, Mercedes-Benz has further increased the safety level of its trucks considerably.

New: Active Drive Assist 2 with emergency stop function

Active Drive Assist (ADA) represents a step forward in terms of safety and makes new Actros the world’s first series truck to be capable of partially automated driving (SAE level 2).

Under certain preconditions it actively supports the driver in the longitudinal and lateral guidance of the truck and can automatically maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead, accelerate and also steer if the necessary system conditions such as sufficient curve radius or clearly visible road markings are met.

If the driver comes too close to a vehicle in front, ADA can automatically brake the truck until the pre-determined minimum distance has been re-established. Once that is the case, the system can then re-accelerate the truck up to the pre-determined speed.

Available from June 2021, the newest-generation ADA 2 can do even more: the system is capable of initiating an emergency stop if it recognises that the driver has not been actively involved in the driving process for a longer period of time, e.g. due to health problems.

The new Mercedes-Benz Active Drive Assist 2

First the system requests the driver via optical and acoustic signals to place his or her hands on the wheel.

But if he or she does not respond after 60 seconds, even after multiple warnings, by responding e.g. with braking, steering, accelerating or operating the vehicle systems via the buttons on the steering wheel, within its limits the system can brake until the truck safely comes to a standstill within its lane while warning the following vehicles using the hazard lights.

The emergency stop manoeuvre initiated by the system can be stopped by using a kick-down at any time.

If the truck comes to a standstill, the system can automatically engage the new electronic parking brake. In addition, the doors are unlocked so that paramedics and other first responders can directly reach the driver in case of a medical emergency.

Active Brake Assist 5 – emergency braking assistant for motorways and city traffic

Active Drive Assist 2’s automatic emergency stop is not to be confused with Active Brake Assist 5’s emergency braking function. ABA 5 works with a combination of radar and camera systems. Compared to ABA 4, it can respond to moving persons not only with a partial, but with an automatic full-stop braking manoeuvre up to a vehicle speed of 50 km/h.

If ABA 5 recognises the danger of an accident with a preceding vehicle, a stationary obstacle or a pedestrian that is either oncoming, crossing, walking in their own lane or suddenly stopping in shock, an optical or acoustic warning can be issued to the driver first. If the driver does not adequately respond, the system can then initiate a partial braking manoeuvre in a second step, with a speed reduction of up to three metres per second squared, which corresponds to approx. 50% of maximum braking performance.

If a collision is imminent nonetheless, within system limits ABA 5 can perform an automatic emergency full-stop braking manoeuvre and then engage the new electronic parking brake after reaching a standstill.

The following applies to all assistance systems by Mercedes-Benz Trucks: they are all designed to support the driver as much as possible within the system limits. However, and in accordance with the law, the driver remains fully and finally responsible for his or her vehicle.

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