The Travego defines the state of the art in terms of safety
The test vehicle, a thirteen-metre three-axle Travego M, sets new standards with its unparalleled package of safety features. And thus fulfils a long tradition: be it the revolutionary first-generation Travego in 1999, the “Travego innovations study” five years later, the first Travego Safety Coach in 2006 or the second version with advanced safety features in 2009 – the Mercedes-Benz Travego has always defined the state of the art in terms of touring coach safety technology.
Safety Coach Travego Edition 1: new safety features
The Safety Coach combines all currently available bus safety systems. An outstanding feature among them is the new Active Brake Assist 2 (ABA 2). Based on the radar system employed for the ART adaptive cruise control, it will now brake the vehicle both if there is a risk of collision with a vehicle travelling slowly ahead and in the case of stationary obstacles. The latest-generation of Attention Assist correlates parameters such as steering angle, speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, journey duration, operating inputs and changes of driver in order to deduce the driver’s level of fatigue and to recommend taking a break in good time.
The new safety features further include the tyre pressure monitoring system with its detailed tyre pressure display in the central display of the instrument panel, which shows the pressure of each of the vehicle’s tyre. Also part of the package are the LED daytime running lamps integrated into the main headlamps. These are one of the Travego’s most distinguishing exterior features. Another significant factor for active safety that is also new to the Travego Edition 1 is the hydrodynamic water retarder which is now even more powerful.
Comprehensive safety equipment
The basis of the unparalleled safety equipment on the Safety Coach Travego Edition 1 is its EBS Electronic Braking System, which in turn is the basis of the ESP Electronic Stability Program with ABS anti-lock braking system, ASR acceleration skid control, BA Brake Assist and the DBL Continuous Braking Limiter.
The Safety Coach’s safety equipment includes further significant features in the form of SPA Lane Assistant and ART adaptive cruise control which is required for Active Brake Assist. While ART utilises its radar system to maintain a previously set safe distance to the vehicle ahead, SPA employs a camera system to warn the driver of inadvertent departure from the current lane at speeds of 70 km/h and more.
Safety in the cockpit: perfect operation
A major requirement for maximum safety is the driver’s ability to operate all of the vehicle’s controls safely and comfortably. The driver is seated on a multiply adjustable, swivelling, heated seat. This workspace has been upgraded once again and impresses through its easy-to-read instruments, an informative colour display and new, logically arranged controls. The audio and video system, the heating, the ventilation and air conditioning and the tachograph – all elements are located directly within the driver’s field of vision and are easy to reach.
Using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel, the driver can call up important features in the display and operate cruise control, the telephone and the audio system’s basic functions. Thus in the Travego Edition 1, the driver’s hands remain on the non-slip leather steering wheel.
Details such as the elegantly integrated rain/light sensor, the heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors with integrated reversing aid, the video camera above the centre door and the reversing camera with integrated cleaning system all combine to assist drivers in their responsibilities.
Features such the central locking system for the luggage hatches with separate closing of the left and right-hand sides, or the status indicator in the instrument panel display which shows the status of the baggage compartment doors and stowage compartment flaps are a welcome addition to the vehicle’s functional equipment.
Safety at night or in bad weather is ensured by the powerful xenon headlamps featuring gas-discharge technology and the headlamp cleaning system. Front fog lamps with integrated cornering light function and LED lane tracking lamps complete the lighting systems.
A fire alarm and extinguisher system with detection line monitors the engine compartment and puts out any fires before they can get properly started. The system is supplemented by a smoke detector in the luggage compartment with an indicator in the driver’s area.
Last but not least, the driver’s and the tour guide’s seats feature a seat belt buckle monitor – inadvertently driving off without a fastened seat belt is thus prevented. Thetour guide’s seat is electrically adjustable. Reading lamps make work easier for the driver and the tour guide.
Safe, convenient, comfortable – the chassis
The basis for the Travego’s high level of active safety is formed by its excellent chassis with ENR electronic level control system and high-performance disc brakes all round which are internally ventilated and easy to meter. The chassis is just as comfortable as it is safe. The three-axle Travego M further impresses through its comfortable trailing axle featuring independent suspension.
The actively steered trailing axle also contributes to the exemplary manoeuvrability of the Travego M: the thirteen-metre high-deck coach has a turning circle of just 21.32 m – a safety benefit that becomes more than apparent when driving through the mountains, touring cities or manoeuvring on tight car parks. Other equipment includes an emergency replacement mirror that can be fitted on both sides and used in the event of a minor collision.
The Travego assists the driver even after the vehicle has been parked up: after the driver leaves the Travego and activates the central locking, the new “follow-me-home” light function and the fog lamps illuminate the area in front of the vehicle for several seconds to help them find their way safely. The immobiliser on the Travego helps effectively reduce the risk of theft. In addition, an anti-theft alarm system secures the doors, exterior hatches and the vehicle interior.
Patented passive safety: Front Collision Guard
The Travego’s annular frame members form the basis for its stable and lightweight bodyshell. The high-deck touring coach already meets the ECE R 66 specification for roll-over stability.
The epitome of the Mercedes-Benz Travego’s passive safety features is the patented safety system Front Collision Guard (FCG), which provides effective protection to the driver and the tour guide in the event of a front impact. Front Collision Guard comprises a complex safety system. It starts with a transverse profile that functions as an underride guard to protect the other party involved in the crash. Behind this profile, there is a structure consisting of crash elements that specifically dissipate energy in the event of an accident.
Additionally, the driver’s area of the Travego, including the steering, pedals and seat, is mounted on a solid frame component which can be moved backwards in the event of a severe front impact. This increases the space around the driver by a significant amount of centimetres.
Optimally tuned drivetrain compliant with Euro VI
The new, perfectly tuned drivetrain of the Safety Coach Travego Edition 1 is also part of the safety elements. The powerful engine and the fully automated transmission allow the driver to concentrate fully on the traffic particularly in difficult driving situations and it also facilitates relaxed travel on long-distance journeys.
The Travego is powered by the new Euro VI Mercedes-Benz OM 471 in-line six-cylinder engine with a capacity of 12.8 litres. It has an output of 350 kW (476 hp) and an impressive torque of 2300 Nm – the basis for superior environmentally-friendly driving performance at maximum efficiency. The driver can call up the fuel consumption in the instrument panel display. An FMS interface can be used for data transfer, for example in the case of a FleetBoard device.
Also new is the fully automated eight-speed Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission that handles power transmission. The transmission’s progressive ratio spread is precisely tuned for buses. The final drive ratio of i=3.909 corresponds to an engine speed of 1280 rpm at 100 km/h in top gear. This all-round gear ratio not only makes the high-deck touring coach the perfect choice for long-distance journeys, but also for as well as for on other arterial routes.
Safe and comfortable passenger compartment design
The Travego’s wide and low steps (no higher than 175 mm at the front, no higher than 250 mm at the centre door) feature well-designed hand rails and offer excellent footing, thus further enhancing the feeling of safety and comfort. The same applies for the interior lighting, including the night lights. A continuous hand rail on the left-hand baggage compartment as well as integrated handles on the seat backrests ensure passengers have a safe grip when moving around inside the bus.
The seats themselves also combine comfort with safety. The test vehicle is equipped with 49 Travel Star Xtra passenger seats. This corresponds to the four-star seat spacing rating in accordance with the specifications of the German association for bus comfort (GBK). The seat surfaces and backrests provide solid support of the body while remaining highly comfortable thanks to the supple Luxline upholstery. The seat belt buckles comply with all functional requirements and are integrated conveniently into the seating area. The one-hand operation of the seat adjustment with its broad button in the aluminium trim allow for simple adjustment of the backrest angle as well as the lateral position in the case of the aisle seats.
To match the dynamic drivetrain, the Safety Coach Travego Edition 1 features equipment from the youthful and dynamic “Fashion” equipment line.
The seat and rest surfaces as well as the backrests are covered with the vivid, easy-care “Tribal” fabric. The “Ocean Blue” side bolsters and the yellow side seam provide a tasteful contrast. The curtains in “Curry” match the colouring. The leather head restraints are both easy-care and attractive. Folding tables and luggage nets on the backrests as well as adjustable footrests further emphasise the high seating comfort offered in the Travego.
Blue fabric inserts in the protective bars of the luggage racks as well as fabric panels on their underside, on the roof lining and on the side walls together with the metallic yellow floor covering and blue-flecked floor mats all contribute to the cosiness of the interior.
State-of-the-art heating and air conditioning
The heating and air-conditioning play a significant part in the physiological safety and thus comfort of the driver and the passengers. Like all models within its range, the Safety Coach Travego Edition 1 features a high-performance roof-mounted air-conditioning system (32 kW) with additional, individually adjustable climate control for the driver’s area (6 kW).
The test vehicle’s heating system is based on a hot-water convector heater for the passenger compartment and a beltline heater rail as well as an entrance heater at the centre door. This is complemented by the separately controlled driver’s area heating, the air-conditioning system’s roof heater and the large auxiliary heating.
The Travego’s extra details include roof hatches with automatic closing which are actuated by means of a rain sensor. The driver can thus ventilate the bus without risking water damage in the event of a sudden spell of rain.
Extensive entertainment electronics
The test vehicle’s entertainment systems will satisfy even the highest of demands. The system is based around a radio, CD and DVD changer and DVB-T tuner. The passengers can watch two electrically folding 48-centimetre
(19-inch) screens. Loudspeakers installed above each double seat provide for excellent sound.
Whenever the driver makes an announcement, an additional feature transmits the image of the driver to the passenger screens from a camera on the A-pillar. The images from the panoramic camera fitted to the windscreen can also be transferred to the passenger screens. This is also true of the satellite navigation system’s map. Three 150-amp three-phase generators provide the power supply. An inverter additionally ensures a 230-volt supply at the centre door.
Refreshments for the passengers
The well-being of passengers aboard our test vehicle can also be catered for. The equipment consists of a galley at the centre door comprising a coffee machine, kettle, hot-dog cooker and sink, a large refrigerator in the front-end as well as refrigerator next to the toilet cabin. Supplies and documents can be stowed in the cupboard next to the tour guide’s seat, in the stowage compartments on the left and right-hand sides of the front-end, above the centre door area, or around the axles. Valuables can be stored in the safe.
The passengers’ luggage is easily stowed in the large-capacity luggage hold between the axles. The luggage compartment is accessed through pantograph locker doors with hidden lifting mechanism. To protect the passengers’ luggage the bus is equipped with floor mats.
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