Freightliner Australia will introduce a head-protecting side airbag on the Cascadia heavy-duty truck late this year.
The move is seen as further extending its safety credentials in the conventional truck class, with the Cascadia still the only bonneted truck in Australia to be fitted with a steering-wheel mounted airbag.
It will also become the only manufacturer to offer a head-protecting side airbag in a bonneted truck in Australia.
The Cascadia’s head-protecting side airbag has been specially developed for the Australian market with partner RollTek by IMMI to ensure it caters for local preferences.
As a result, it can be used with standard Cascadia ISRI seats.
In the United States, the RollTek airbag system is seat-mounted, while the seatbelts are mounted to the truck’s B-pillar.
Australian drivers prefer the belts to be tethered to the seat instead of the B-pillar, Daimler notes, allowing the belts to move up and down with the seat and the driver, which is incompatible with the US seat-based airbag deployment system.
RollTek instead developed an Australian head-protecting airbag that is mounted on the truck’s B-pillar.
The Cascadia comes standard with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety package, which features AEBS and adaptive cruise control as well as tailgate warning, lane departure warning and intelligent high beam, while automatic wipers and headlamps are also standard.
"A conventional truck with fully integrated advanced safety technology like Detroit Assurance 5.0 and not one but two airbags is exactly what many of our customers have been asking for in this class," Freightliner Trucks Australia Pacific director Stephen Downes says.
"When this life-saving technology is available for Cascadia, but none of its rivals, not even the most recent additions, the Cascadia is the only choice for customers who care about safety.
"Considering the Cascadia’s fantastic fuel economy and advanced comfort, the new safety addition only makes the business case stronger."
Customers are able to order the new head-protecting side airbag late this year.
"There is no good reason why conventional truck drivers in Australia should not be able to drive a truck fitted with the latest safety features," Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific president and CEO Daniel Whitehead says.
"It doesn’t matter whether you are driving a truck with or without a bonnet, your safety is just as important."
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