Mercedes-Benz will launch the revised Travego touring coach at the IAA Hannover Show in September, incorporating a range of new safety features such as the company’s Active Brake Assist system first seen on the Actros heavy truck. This is the first time Mercedes has offered the system on a coach.
Three radar beams are used to monitor the area in front of the coach within a predetermined range. The system constantly monitors the distance and speed of the coach relative to other vehicles ahead of it. If the distance between the coach and the vehicle in front is continuously reducing, the system will first sound a graduated audible warning indicating that the driver should take avoiding action. If the driver fails to respond, the system will then apply emergency braking under control of the electronic stability control system to bring the vehicle to a halt.
The system will be offered as an option on the Travego, but if the intelligent cruise control system, which regulates vehicle speed to keep it a set distance from the vehicle in front, is specified, Active Brake Assist is included.
Passive safety has also been reviewed on the Travego. The driver and tour guide, stationed forward of the front axle, can expect better protection from the Front Collision Guard. At the front of the coach, the framework consists of crash elements designed to dissipate impact energy in a controlled way. The front section includes an under-ride guard, which has been designed to prevent a car from running under the front of the bus.
The driver’s position, including the seat, pedals, and steering components, is contained on a solid frame section. In a severe impact, the entire section can be dislodged rearward, providing a survival space enlarged by a few centimeters, which could be crucial in such an impact.
Mercedes will offer the Travego with an optional eight-speed PowerShift transmission. The GO 240-8 is the first automated manual transmission designed specifically for buses, the company claims. It incorporates an integrated Voith retarder that offers up to 3750 N·m (2766 lb·ft) of braking torque. While Mercedes fitted the 12-speed PowerShift constant mesh automated manual gearbox as standard equipment to the Actros truck two years ago, the Travego will be offered with the gearbox as an option.
Other technologies new to the Travego include a cornering light, for better illumination in the dark when the vehicle is turning, and a rain and light sensor to activate headlamps and windscreen wipers automatically when it rains and as light levels fall. This equipment is all fitted as standard, as are the LED marker lamps above the windscreen.
The fixed cornering light is activated at speeds below 40 km/h (25 mph), either when the driver uses the direction indicator or turns the steering wheel to that side. The system will only work when the light-sensing headlights are set on “automatic.” The system activates the front fog light on that side of the vehicle.
The cockpit has been redesigned with improved ergonomics. The instrument panel includes a multifunction display carrying information from fluid and air pressure levels in the compressed-air system to trip computer information. The system operates as in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars via steering wheel-mounted controls.