Daimler buses: ultimate and intelligent safety systems
“Daimler’s marketing strategy is based on parameters like passenger comfort and economic viability for the operator,” says Thomas Fricke, CEO Daimler Buses India. But above all, safety is an uncompromising and concern closest to Daimler India’s heart.
Daimler’s production network worldwide is divided into three main segments which display different characteristics and behavior patterns.
Daimler is known for its ready to use vehicles fitted with highly-sophisticated and high-tech driver assist technology. These feature-rich city bus and long distance coaches are amongst the most advanced commercial vehicles in terms of technology globally.
Daimler mostly sells the only chassis in Brazil, whereas it enjoys the best of both worlds in India, where it may continue to manufacture and sell 9 and 24-ton vehicles on one side and chassis for 9 16 & 24-ton segments on the other side.
When asked, Thomas Fricke, CEO Daimler Buses India said, “In the end offered products have to match market needs.” What he meant to say was that any company’s marketing or sales policy has to be customer-centric, and the product has to perform without a doubt. The next prime concern of the customers is customer service — in terms of maintenance and spares. This is almost as important as the Company’s profitability, ease of doing business and comfort from the customer’s perspective which makes a big difference in the long run.
Daimler Buses stand out in a crowd because of their smart and intelligent safety systems. A number of intelligent steering systems and fully integrated components like electrohydraulic power steering (EHPS) or high-performance electrical system make sure that system-based friction loss is reduced within the hydraulic circuit and help Daimler to cut down on fuel consumption.
“Daimler buses strategy has two legs first and the foremost is passenger comfort and the second is creating economic viability for the operator,” says Thomas Fricke, CEO Daimler Buses India (a unit of Daimler India Commercial Vehicle, DICV).
Safety is an uncompromising and concern closest to Daimler India’s heart. Daimler has been experimenting with a range of active, passive, safe and effective systems for accident prevention. These include radar-based autonomous intelligent cruise control feature (AICC) which relieves the burden on the driver to brake or adjust the vehicle’s speed. A proximity sensor keeps measuring the relative distance and speed of the vehicles in front. The system automatically applies the brake and maintains a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. Otherwise, if and when there is no potential danger, it works like a conventional cruise control system.
Active Brake Assist (ABA) first introduced in Daimler’s coaches almost a decade ago, identifies an emergency and applies the brake to prevent an accident. Designed to predict, prevent, reduce the impact and severity of an accident, it emits a series of warnings before partial or full-stop braking. Another version of the device warns the driver about looming collision with pedestrians and maneuvers the steering to avoid a collision by applying partial or full-stop brakes.
Attention Assist, constantly monitors the driver’s intoxication, tiredness or fatigue based on parameters like lethargic braking, sluggish steering control, slow response to warning signals, vehicle speed and time of day. The driver is advised to take a break in case of an abnormal result.
Crash impact-absorbing and collision protection feature absorbs the impact in the pillars and frame structure. Likewise, continuous braking limiter retards the speed of a bus that exceeds the speed limit.
The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) a sensor detects potentially dangerous situations and eliminates the risk of skidding on the basis of diagnostic parameters like turning angle of front wheels, vehicle speed, lateral acceleration, and dangerous driving. Citaro a bus manufactured by Mercedes-Benz was the first low-floor bus in the world to be equipped with ESP. Articulation Turntable Controller (ATC) an electronic system accomplishes a similar effect.
Front Collision Guard a complex passive safety measure, absorbs the energy in the event of a frontal impact. A complex framework comprising the steering, driver’s seat and pedals – designed to slide backward increase the chances of driver’s survival and also protects other road users in case of a head-on collision.
Lane Assist (LA) camera system detects deviations in the path and issues a warning in case the vehicle leaves its lane. As a warning to the driver, the whole driver’s seat starts to vibrate the moment the vehicle crosses the speed of 70 km/h and recklessly deviates from its lane.
Preventive Brake Assist– the world first active braking assist system warns the driver about the possibility of impending dangers from stationary and mobile objects or pedestrians. If the driver does not respond, it activates an illuminated red triangle and vehicle icon or audio warning before partial braking until the driver intervenes or the bus comes to a halt. The Preventive Brake Assist purposely does not apply automatic emergency brake to prevent injury to passengers standing or those not wearing seatbelts. However, the driver has the option of applying full-stop braking if required.
Likewise, Sideguard Assist — a radar-based sensor system fitted on the co-driver’s side, keeps track of the entire length of the bus. In case, of an impending collision or a stationary obstacle blocking the path of the bus, a red LED is switched on as a warning but if the driver does not take appropriate action, the entire driver’s seat structure starts vibrating.
DAIMLER – INTO THE FUTURE: FULL SPEED AHEAD
In what seems to be one of its biggest bets ever – Daimler has pumped in close to over Rs 5,900 Crore in the world’s fastest-growing bus market. This has all the more potential to make or break it.
Daimler — the world’s largest commercial vehicle maker has traditionally been in the news because of its highly efficient, safe, comfortable, technologically superior, environment-friendly drive systems, and innovative transportation solution.
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