Daimler Buses improves safety features of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses for protection against COVID-19
The air conditioning systems fitted as standard in coaches already protect against the risk of infection by ensuring rapid air exchange on-board. New features include standard high-performance particle filters with antiviral action, as well as driver protection doors for coaches and sensor-controlled disinfectant dispensers. Daimler Buses is offering an optional adjustment of the characteristic curve for coaches, which extends the range in which the maximum level of fresh air flows into the vehicle by either 33 or 40 percent, depending on the model.
Gustav Tuschen, Head of Product Development & Procurement at Daimler Buses, said: "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 anti-viral 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 Corona pandemic without any concerns and with a feeling of safety, provided that the required distance and face covering rules are observed."
The fully automatic air conditioning system continuously changes the air inside the vehicle. Ventilation via the footwell creates a gentle, vertical air flow that prevents turbulence. At common outside temperatures between 8 and 26 degrees Celsius, the climate control system uses the maximum level of fresh air (between 80 and 100 percent), and there is therefore 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.
And Daimler Buses is even 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 percent by additionally 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.
Filter systems with anti-viral functionality are today already used in the climate control systems of buses from Setra to effectively remove particles from the air. New active filters increase this effect even further: the multi-layer, progressively designed high-performance particle filters additionally feature an anti-viral 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 which is visible to passengers.
Bus drivers inevitably come into close contact with their passengers. To prevent droplet infections, Daimler Buses 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 have been met with 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.
When many people come together, pathogens can spread quickly. Regular hand hygiene is thus especially important. The contactless disinfectant dispenser is particularly hygienic. This variant 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, which can be mounted on the door mechanisms, can be ordered for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses from the end of September.