Daimler Group demonstrates its new automated braking system equipped in Daimler trucks and buses.
Daimler Group demonstrates its new automated braking system equipped in Daimler trucks and buses.

Cost a concern as Daimler touts new braking system

Auto & Audio October 08, 2018 01:00

By   WICHIT CHAITRONG
THE NATION


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DAIMLER GROUP, a global player in automobile manufacturing, has said its new braking technology for trucks and buses would help drivers avert road accidents and injuries.



 A road saftey expert in Thailand welcomed the new technology but cautioned that most local logistics comapnies are small operators who may not be in a position to make such an investment in their vehicles.

 Daimler has installed its latest braking system "Active Brake Assist(ABA)5" in the Mercedes-Benz Actros, a heavy-duty-truck, and Daimler buses. 

 The group recently showed off Daimler trucks and buses equipped with the latest braking technology at its facility in Worth as well as the Commercial Vehicles Show IAA 2018 in Hannover, Germany. 

 Upgraded from ABA4, the ABA 5 will activate automatically when it detects a person walking across the road in front of the vehicle. 

 Daimler plans to equip its FUSO trucks with the new braking system next year. 

 In addition to ABA5, Daimer has also installed a side-guard system in its buses and trucks. The device alerts the driver with light and sound for immediate braking when detecting an object, such as a cyclist, moving close to the sides of the vehicle. 

 Daimler believes that the new technology could help drivers avoid road accidents and injuries. 

 Other European auto manufacturers have also developed similar braking systems, but Martin Daum, head of Daimler Trucks, said the company's technology is ahead of its competitors.

 Daimler also presented its light-duty-truck, powered by battery or ecantor at the IAA show. 

The electric truck is suitable for goods transport in urban areas as many big cities around the globe have enforced stringent rules on pollution caused by gas engines running on fossil fuel. 

 A company official quoted drivers of the electric truck in Japan as saying that, unlike other transport vehicles, they could operate it during the night without causing any noise disturbance. 

 The group plans to build a compete knock-down(CKD) assembly plant in the Eastern Economic Corridor this year, with an annual capacity of 4,000 trucks. 

 However, the first batch of Fuso trucks from the Thai facility will |not come with its latest braking |system, according to an official of Daimler Commercial Vehicles Thailand(DCVT). 

The technology may be installed in the later stage, he said. 

 Meanwhile, Thanapong Jinvong, manager of Road Safety Group Thailand, praised the new braking systems of commercial vehicle manufacturers as a positive development. “Should Thai logistics operators use trucks and buses equipped with the new braking technology, the number of accidents could be sharply reduced, ” he said, adding that it will be a welcome measure given the different types of vehicles on Thai roads. 

 However, most truck companies in Thailand are small operators, they may not be able to shoulder the cost, he noted.

 The number of accidents involving trucks stood at 3,564 in 2011 and 3,323 in 2012, according to Thai Insurers Datanet Co. 

 The majority of accidents involved motorcycles crashing into the rear of a truck parked by the roadside, or ramming into the side when a truck makes a U-turn. 

There are also blind spots that might lead to a truck running over a motorcycle or side-crash with it. These accidents resulted in about 60-70 deaths a year, he said.

 Thanapong, who is also secretary of Road Safety Foundation said that a campaign is currenty underway to encourage logistics companies to hire a transport safety manager who will supervise the truck drivers.

 But the success of the campaign will be limited as most operators could not afford the investment in advance safety measures, he added.