Safety comes first
Omnibus Magazine

Safety comes first

Hygiene and safety measures during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Maximum safety for drivers and passengers:  Mercedes-Benz is supporting bus and coach operators during COVID-19 with active filters for air conditioning systems and other protection measures.

Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with safety, and this is particularly true during the pandemic. Now as before, drivers and passengers can confidently enjoy travelling on buses and coaches bearing the three-pointed star because they are afforded high levels of safety on board – including protection against infections.

Passengers may be worried about the risk of infection associated with spending time in an enclosed space. However, Mercedes-Benz is also keeping a watchful eye on the on-board climate. In city bus operations, the regular stops at bus stops just a few hundred metres apart mean doors are open for longer, which has a positive effect on the rate of exchange of fresh air. 

If fitted, additional vent openings such as hinged windows or roof hatches can be used to increase the flow of fresh air. However, if factory-fitted roof-mounted air conditioning systems are activated, hinged windows and roof hatches should remain closed in order to prevent control errors. 

In the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo touring coach, the technology of the fully automatic air conditioning system (standard or special equipment for each vehicle equipment) provides the fresh air supply.  At prevailing outside temperatures of between 8 and 26 degrees Celsius, the system operates in maximum fresh air mode, which causes the rapid renewal of air every two minutes. Both at low and high temperatures, climate control systems work in mixed-air mode. In this case, the renewal of fresh air in the interior compartment takes place every four minutes. For comparison: the guideline for living spaces is that the air should be exchanged only once every two hours, and in offices just once an hour as a minimum.

Mercedes-Benz goes the extra mile: on request, the maximum fresh air operation from roof-mounted air conditioning systems can be increased by one-third by additionally extending the range in which we drive maximum fresh air up and down.  For coach operators, this additional proportion of fresh air from the air conditioning unit represents an attractive opportunity for significantly lowering the risk of infection for drivers and passengers, even if it does mean a slight compromise on temperature comfort and fuel consumption. Mercedes-Benz customers can ask their personal sales associates to give non-binding advice on this subject.

Filter systems in the climate control systems of Mercedes-Benz buses are already in use to remove particles from the air. New active filters with antiviral functionsconsiderably increase their effect: the high performing multi-ply particulate filters filter the finest aerosols and are built up in successive layers, one of which has an antiviral function. This has been demonstrated in physical tests and microbiological studies. This also reduces the risk of infection in mixed and recirculated air operation. The active filters are used in the roof air conditioning, the air recirculation filters and the front climate control box. Vehicles equipped with an active filter will also be provided with a sticker in the entrance area which will be visible to passengers. For further information, please contact your sales representative.

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Active filters in the climate control system

Minimisation of pollutants through efficient fine filtering of fresh and recirculated air.

Minimisation of pollutants through efficient fine filtering of fresh and recirculated air.

Before setting off:

  • With the engine running and with the doors and driver's window closed, purge the interior with fresh air (Climate button (star symbol) turned off). This should take four minutes with the blower set to at least 50 per cent. Afterwards, activate "HVAC AUTO" mode.
  • Check that the ventilation grilles in the luggage compartment and underneath the spare wheel are clear.

During the journey:

  • Keep the driver’s window and roof hatches closed while driving.
  • Set climate control to “AUTO” mode, only use the “SMOG” and “REHEAT” buttons if required.
  • To avoid the "SMOG" button in traffic jams, maintain a good distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • The air renewal rate can be further increased by setting the blower speed higher.

Breaks while on the road:

  • Open the driver‘s window, roof hatches and both doors to ventilate the coach – the vehicle is supervised and air conditioning system deactivated.

After the journey:

  • With the engine running and with the doors and driver's window closed, purge the interior with fresh air (Climate button (star symbol) turned off).This should take four minutes with the blower set to at least 50 per cent. Afterwards, activate "HVAC AUTO" mode.
  • Check that the ventilation grilles in the luggage compartment and underneath the spare wheel are clear.