Mercedes-Benz’s ABA2 system mitigates tailgating dangers
Taking a brake from the no.1 cause of highway accidents
Mercedes-Benz Philippines took some members of the motoring media as well as VIP customers on a summer “brake” last week as Auto Nation Group, Inc. (ANG), general distributor for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles in the Philippines, recently introduced the heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Actros truck with the second generation active brake assist (ABA).
ANG organized a live demo at the Freeport Zone of Clark Air Base in Pampanga to showcase how the safety technology is activated in various pre-collision situations on the road.
“The Actros is by itself a safe and modern truck. With Active Brake Assist 2, truck drivers, passengers, and other motorists on the road are assured of safer roads because of this risk-mitigating technology. Mercedes-Benz puts a premium on safety, and you can expect that we will continue to find ways to ensure our vehicles are always safe and reliable,” said Don Ramos, assistant vice president for commercial vehicles of ANG.
The second generation brake safety system is a product of over a decade of development, and this multi-award-winning safety system is further enhanced with additional features.
The first-generation system only applies the brakes automatically if a risk of a head-to-tail collision with a slow-moving obstacle in front of the vehicle is detected.
On the other hand, the Active Brake Assist 2 is also activated even if a stationary obstacle is detected.
Active brake assist has been installed in more than 14,000 trucks, clocking more than three billion kilometers on various roads and highways globally.
The radar used in the Active Brake Assist 2 system scans an area of from 1 to 200 meters in the lane ahead of the truck, and it constantly calculates the distance to a vehicle in front or a stationary obstacle, as well as the difference in speed between the two vehicles before it quickly stages braking intervention.
The system is robust under almost all weather conditions.
Present at the event was Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark De Leon, who had had extensive experience in the transportation and traffic planning since 2004 for various infrastructure and urban development projects.
Prior to his stint at the DOTr, he was engaged in various local as well as international consultancy firms both private and public.
His strong sense of urgency in advocating public road safety and vehicle modernization has taken root in the current administration’s efforts to curb accidents specially related to public transport.
No. 1 cause of highway accidents
“During the last Holy Week, we had over 20 road crashes, and the number one cause of these accidents is the bad and dangerous habit of tailgating along the expressway. We welcome this initiative by Mercedes-Benz Philippines and we will push policies for the use of the ABA (active brake assist) system as we have already finished the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for speed limiters,” said De Leon.
“We are reforming the system, and have also implemented the 15-year rule and the surplus rule (meaning the age of trucks and buses will not exceed 15 years), and prohibiting the use of surplus chassis and engines, which are considered major parts of these vehicles and not the vehicle registration date,” he added.
De Leon said that the use of safety devices is very crucial especially in urban settings where the higher population density exposes more risk of accidents.
The old and dangerous habit of tailgating is not new and exclusive to bus and truck drivers, but to a lot of passenger vehicle drivers as well.
With the ABA system, truck drivers and operators have a better chance of avoiding collision especially for long haul trips where fatigue and drowsiness that can adversely affect driving performance and significantly lower reflex responses.
This is what the Filipino deserves
“Imagine, we now have Mercedes-Benz trucks on the road; this is what the Filipino deserves.” De Leon was inferring to the Filipino’s love of the tri-star brand, considered the aspirational vehicle in the luxury car segment.
Mercedes-Benz put up its first assembly plant in Asia here in the Philippines in 1955. The brand has become the status symbol of success, oftentimes lovingly called “Chedeng,” the local slang for Mercedes-Benz.
Unknown to many, aside from the fact that Karl Benz was the creator of the first automobile in 1886, now known as the Patent-Motorwagen, Mercedes-Benz was the first maker of the motor truck in 1896.
The first Daimler motor trucks were delivered to London, and then Paris, and it ushered in a new age of the “horseless carriage.”
Since then, Mercedes-Benz trucks have been at the forefront of technical innovations including in the field of safety.
Over the years, Mercedes-Benz trucks have been pioneers in the use of various safety features like the anti-lock braking system, acceleration skid control, disc brakes all round, electronically controlled braking system, high-pressure braking system, brake assist, lane assistant, roll control, proximity control, and many more.