Covid 19: bus and coach manufacturers fight back!

Covid 19: bus and coach manufacturers fight back!

What are bus and coach manufacturers doing to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 to passengers being transported in their vehicles? Quite a bit, it seems …

Daimler Buses – with its Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands – has long been passionate about safety. The air-conditioning systems fitted as standard in the company’s coaches, for instance, already protect against the risk of infection by ensuring rapid air exchange on-board.

Gustav Tuschen, head of product development & procurement at Daimler Buses, confirms: “With state-of-the-art filter technologies and an above-average fresh air exchange rate, our touring coaches have always combined safety and comfort at the highest level. Among other things, the use of antiviral functional layers has enabled us to significantly improve hygiene protection measures once again. And one thing is clear: drivers and passengers can also travel during the pandemic without any concerns and with a feeling of safety, provided that the required distance and face covering rules are observed.”

But, while its buses and coaches are already deemed safe, the company is going to extraordinary additional lengths to protect commuters.

Touring coach: fresh air every two minutes

There are normally lots of passengers on board a touring coach. So, the fear that there is a greater risk of infection is logical. But it’s actually far from reality. On many coaches – including Mercedes-Benz and Setra vehicles – the fully automatic air-conditioning system continuously changes the air inside the vehicle.

At outside temperatures between 8 and 26 degrees Celsius, the climate control system uses the maximum level of fresh air (between 80% and 100%), and there is thus a continual and complete change of the air inside the vehicle every two minutes. Both at low and high temperatures, climate control systems work in mixed-air mode. Here, the renewal of fresh air in the interior occurs every four minutes. By way of comparison: in living spaces, a renewal of air is only prescribed at the very least every two hours, and in offices that figure is only every hour at the least.

Despite this already positive situation, Daimler Buses is going one step further: upon request, the maximum fresh air content of the air-conditioning systems in the popular Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, Setra ComfortClass 500, TopClass 500 and S 531 DT double-decker coach series can be increased by as much as 33% or 40% by extending the outside temperature range for maximum fresh air supply upwards and downwards. For touring coach companies, this additional share of fresh air from the air-conditioning system is an attractive option for demonstrably further reducing the risk of infection for drivers and passengers.

New: standard high-performance particle filter

Filter systems with antiviral functionality are today already used in the climate control systems of buses from Setra to effectively remove particles from the air. New active filters are increasing this effect even further: the multi-layer, progressively designed high-performance particle filters additionally feature an antiviral functional layer. This serves to filter out the finest aerosols. Physical tests and microbiological analyses confirm this effect. The active filters are used for the roof-mounted climate control systems, for the air-recirculation filter and also for the front climate control box.

The active filters can be ordered for the current Mercedes-Benz Tourismo as well as for the Setra S 531 DT double-decker bus and the Setra ComfortClass 500 and TopClass 500 touring coaches, both for new vehicles and as a retrofit solution. Mercedes-Benz and Setra can even retrofit existing models with them. Appropriate active filters for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro regular-service urban bus will follow this year. Vehicles equipped with an active filter are also fitted with a sticker in the entrance area that is visible to passengers.

New: driver protection doors

Bus drivers inevitably come into close contact with their passengers. To prevent droplet infections, Daimler Buses has developed professional driver protection doors made of safety glass and high-quality plastic polycarbonate initially for use in Mercedes-Benz Citaro regular-service urban buses. In a subsequent step, these were implemented for the Setra LE business intercity bus. And they’re understandably in high demand.

Drivers of touring coaches should be able to benefit from the same protection as their public transport colleagues. Driver protection doors can therefore now also be ordered for the current Mercedes-Benz Tourismo series, as well as for Setra ComfortClass 500 and the Setra S 531 DT double-decker buses. This isn’t just applicable to new vehicles, there is also a retrofit solution available. A retrofit solution for the Intouro is also under development.

New: sensor-controlled disinfectant dispenser

When many people come together, pathogens can spread quickly. Regular hand hygiene is therefore especially important. Daimler Buses is now offering a contactless disinfectant dispenser, which prevents the user’s hands from coming into contact with the device and even prevents the transmission of germs on the dispenser itself. The sensor-controlled dispenser for disinfectant can be mounted on the door mechanisms.

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