IVECO DAILY: First test drive in the new model
The Iveco Daily can look back on a good 40 years. With the latest generation, current assistance systems are moving into the Benjamin in the Iveco range. As with Crafter and Sprinter, Iveco is laying the foundation for this in the form of electromechanical power steering. Instead of hydraulic support, an electric motor acts directly on the rack-and-pinion steering. This has certain advantages for the operator even without assistants. With the old system, a hydraulic pump must constantly maintain the pressure in the system required for steering assistance, i.e. it consumes electricity and thus fuel. In the case of electric steering, the electric motor is only activated in a supportive manner when the driver actually turns the wheel. Accordingly, it only consumes energy then. In City Mode, which can be activated on the steering wheel, the steering assistance is increased. According to Iveco, the driver has to use up to 70 percent less force than before when parking and manoeuvring.
Active lane keeper and distance control
The ProActive Lane Keeping Assist, an active lane keeper, helps keep the Daily on track. In order to recognize the correct lane, a camera system keeps the lane and the boundary lines in view. The system is proactive and does not wait for the transporter to scratch the line. The premise is to keep the Iveco Daily as stable on the lane as possible. This also works very well. So the Daily does not commute between the lines, but almost seems to be on the move with an autopilot. But as with the competition, this is only supportive. Those who take their hands off the steering wheel are warned a few seconds later before the assistant resigns. A crosswind assistant is also on board. Instead of steering, however, it uses ESP sensors to stabilize the vehicle. The electronic brain recognizes in almost real time that the car is about to lose its lane. Then ESP brakes the wheels facing the wind in order to generate a counter impulse.
Assistants with logical operation
The driver can operate all the pleasant assistance systems by pressing the corresponding buttons on the new multifunction steering wheel. It is also slightly smaller in diameter and has a sporty asymmetrical shape to fit better in the hand. It can also be adjusted in height and pulled out. This makes it easier to find the optimum position. The logic of the controls is easy to grasp and practically self-explanatory. A button activates the ACC. The safety distance can be changed in three stages using the adjacent button: The driver can easily switch through by pressing a button – 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 and so on.
Daily supports in a traffic jam
For this Iveco offers a system in the Daily that is otherwise only known from high-priced cars. The so-called Queue Assist is designed to relieve drivers in stop-and-go traffic. In combination with ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission – which in the Daily is called Hi-Matic – the big Italian will almost automatically start again. The system monitors the vehicle in front and adjusts the speed. If the queue comes to a standstill, the assistant brakes the Daily to a standstill. If it continues, a quick tap on the accelerator is all it takes for the transporter to hang itself back in front of the vehicle again.
Conclusion: Successful new edition
The bottom line is that the New Daily mission was a success. The new one can’t outperform the competition. But this is less due to Iveco’s development department than to the fact that the assistance systems familiar from passenger cars have now been adapted for all the newly introduced van series. Iveco already had an electric van version in its range anyway, and the fuel cell has not yet established itself among its competitors. So the next leap is still to come and is more likely to be in communication for the time being. Mercedes-Benz has presented the intelligent MBUX and VW will soon follow suit in the Crafter. After all, Iveco already offers a little bit of intelligent assistance in the form of Siri and Google.