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Commercial Vehicle Engineer is the multi-award-winning online monthly for road transport engineers and fleet managers, delivering a unique blend of independent, well-informed analysis, hard-hitting comment and news on the commercial vehicle market and aftermarket. The August 2019 edition is now online.

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For the 2019 CV Engineer media kit, including forward features list, click here



Vehicle manufacturers stand accused of rushing with undue haste along a path leading towards fully autonomous vehicles. “There’s a problem with manufacturers trying to introduce technology and consumers not being ready for it,” says Thatcham Research director Matthew Avery. Has Mercedes-Benz Trucks fallen into this trap with its fifth-generation Actros, boasting a MirrorCam indirect vision system among several “world-firsts”? Delivery of the new Mercedes truck has just started in the UK. We have been assessing it from a driver’s point of view on roads in Spain and South Yorkshire.

Robert Grozdanovski started a new job on 1 January as managing director of Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland. He has wasted no time in settling into the role and already has some clear views on the UK truck market. We went to Warwick to hear more.

Other people in the news this month include Enterprise Holdings’ UK and Ireland boss Khaled Shahbo, following his company’s acquisition of SHB Hire; and Imperial Commercials top executives explaining why their company has a new name and six new dealer sites in northern England following the takeover of F&G Commercials.











Tue 30 Jul, 2019

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July 2019

3 Comment
If you're not confused you must be misinformed. There is a lot of confusion, misinformation and an over-abundance of terminology. This is not, as you could be forgiven for imagining, a comment on the latest Brexit rants by yet another deranged Tory government minister. In fact it is among the remarks made by Neil Greig, the reassuringly sane and level-headed policy and research director at IAM RoadSmart (trading name of the Institute of Advanced Motorist), in response to a recent IAM survey into driver attitudes towards development of self-driving vehicles. More than 66% of the 1,600 respondents to the survey were "concerned" or "very concerned" about the way that more and more functions are being taken away from drivers and left under the control of algorithms. “It’s clear from the results of our survey that the motor industry has a big job ahead in convincing drivers of the safety virtues of self-driving vehicles," says Greig. Not half. And the task is by no means confined to car drivers. Truck drivers and commercial vehicle fleet managers too are faced with an ever-expanding array of systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and satellite-navigation-based gearshift control systems. The new Mercedes-Benz Actros truck boasts greater refinement in this technological field than any rival to date (page 14), including its "world first" MirrorCam system. Mercedes engineers and managers deserve credit for having recognised how essential it is that drivers and their bosses are properly informed about how to use these systems effectively and, more important still, what their limitations are. The same certainly cannot be said of all car manufacturers. That is why Matthew Avery, director at Thatcham Research, a respected, Berkshire-based not-for-profit research centre funded by motor industry insurance companies, added his heft last year to calls for greater clarity. “There’s a problem with the manufacturers trying to introduce technology and consumers not being ready for it, not being sure if it’s automated or whether they need to keep watching,” he said. “We want it very clear. Either you are driving, assisted, or you are not driving, automated.” Now IAM RoadSmart is calling for vehicle manufacturers to work with the government "to ensure the facts out there are clearer and easy to understand." Some sort of agreement or even an industry standard on acronyms and products names, as IAM suggests, surely would be a good starting point.

6 Points of view
Michael Kenyon of Bureau Veritas want quality put before quantity in the rush to set up electric vehicle charging points. Greg Harris of Horiba Mira argues for more investment in electric vehicle development, testing and evaluation. David Jinks of ParcelHero warns that no fleet, zero emission or otherwise, would be able to solve the problem of empty shelves before Christmas following a 31 October no-deal Brexit.

9 News
Enterprise expands again through SHB Hire takeover.

10 News
Green light for ZF takeover from Wabco shareholders.

11 News
Volvo Group on a roll as it joins forces with Samsung SDI.

12 News
Northern six appeal for restructured Motus Group.

14 Steering clear of technology traps
Deliveries of the fifth-generation Actros truck range have just started in the UK. It is described as "a real game-changer" by Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK boss Mike Belk. But will seasoned drivers agree? Tim Blakemore has been behind the wheel in Spain and South Yorkshire to find out.

18 Truck marketing route master
What drives the new Volvo Trucks UK managing director? Tim Blakemore went to Warwick to find out.

22 News from the north
Our learned friend the Transport News Truck Advocate is back with advice on "hotbox" vehicles; obstructive sleep apnoea; and agricultural tractor exemptions from operator licensing rules.

23 News from the north
New trucks turning heads in this month's Transport News TruckScot Scenery include a Barclays Transport Daf XF 6x2 tractive unit, a Campbell Plant Hire Scania P410 four-axle rigid, and an FH16 Volvo in the ND Macaskill & Son fleet.

26 People and jobs
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK charity fund-raising cyclists shift up a couple of gears. Martin O'Shea takes charge of quality control at Wheely-Safe.

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