The Covid crisis has caused all sorts of challenges and hurdles for everyone around the globe not the least being the truck manufacturing industry which has seen everything from factories being ‘paused’ to supply lines being interrupted and major produft launches being severely affected.
So it was for Mercedes-Benz which was due to launch its updated Actros range with its highly important, innovative and intriguing Mirrorcam technology. So not to be deterred the team at Daimler has decided to hold a a customer launch with a difference for the new Actros in Australia and New Zealand.
In what is believed to be a first for a commercial vehicle manufacturer in the region, Mercedes-Benz will live stream a drive in the new truck as it travels from Melbourne to Daylesford in Victoria starting at 11am AEST on Amercian Independence Day, Saturday 4 July.
With no restrictions on numbers attending, Daimler says everyone is welcome to tune into the interactive two-hour event.
Daimler says the new Actros is the first truck in Australia and New Zealand to feature the aforementioned Mirrorcams, which uses cameras instead of side mirrors. It also introduces new features including large digital tablet-like cockpit displays and Predictive Powertrain Control, which uses GPS and topographic data to help the truck save fuel.
Mercedes-Benz Director Andrew Assimo, who will be in the passenger seat for the Actros Live Drive event, is excited about the streamed journey.
“Normally, we would have held a traditional launch event with a huge amount of our customers, but that is just not possible given COVID-19,” Mr Assimo said.
“Rather than just cancel an event or do something like a simple walk-around of the truck, we decided to head out onto the road and tell our story driving.”
Mr Assimo said it was a great opportunity to show the Actros in its natural habitat, while showcasing its class-leading technology focussed on driver comfort, safety and fuel efficiency.
“We have found the key features of this new truck really shine when it is out on the road,” he says.
“Talking about it on a stage is great, but being able to show the audience the truck as it works is even better,” Mr Assimo adds.
The Live Drive event will be hosted by emcee Shura Taft and Mr Assimo, while a dedicated driver trainer will pilot the Actros. The hosts will be able to field questions asked by viewers, who can post questions in real time on the website.
There will be plenty to discuss and demonstrate given the raft of improvements the new Actros delivers.
These include the MirrorCam system, Predictive Powertrain Control, the Multimedia Cockpit displays, a further advanced Active Brake Assist 5 safety suite, interior upgrades and the SoloStar restful cabin concept.
Anyone can log into the Actros Live Drive by visiting https://www.actroslivedrive.com.au/
Mercedes-Benz has also released a preview of the new Actros in action with a video shot in remote New South Wales which is available to view on the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus YouTube channel.