DaimlerChrysler presented the Mercedes-Benz Safety Coach to a group of international bus and coach experts from 18 European countries gathered at the Hockenheimring training area in late June 2006. The vehicle, which those in the know are calling "the world's safest touring coach", is based on the new-generation Mercedes-Benz Travego and has already gone on sale. It incorporates all the previously used safety technology as well as the Lane Assistant and proximity control systems, both of which are available for buses and coaches for the very first time.
The Lane Assistant warns the driver in plenty of time if there is a danger of the vehicle departing from its lane. Proximity control, meanwhile, maintains a safe distance between the bus or coach and the vehicle in front. Considering the bumper-to-bumper traffic faced by bus and coach drivers on motorways, for example, it is easy to see how useful such a system can be in helping to prevent rear-end collisions. New features include mirror systems with a "reversing pilot", a reversing camera and Litronic xenon headlamps. When operated in unison with recently introduced safety features such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Continuous Braking Limiter, electronically-controlled braking system (EBS) and such like, these systems prove effective at helping to prevent accidents involving buses and coaches. Buses and coaches may be the safest means of transport of all, but the large number of passengers on board, and the potentially high number of casualties, means that bus and coach accidents often hit the headlines. The new safety technology on board brings buses and coaches a further major step closer to realising the vision of accident-free driving.
The Mercedes-Benz Safety Coach is part of a current campaign led by Daimler-Chrysler, which targets politicians, the public, the transport industry and
insurance companies, and is aimed at promoting more widespread use of safety systems and technology in commercial vehicles. This is why the Mercedes-Benz Safety Truck will be visiting twelve European countries in the coming weeks, to impressively highlight the efficiency of the latest safety systems through a series of driving demonstrations. This initiative sees DaimlerChrysler lending its support to the European Union's "Road Safety Charter" project which aims to halve the number of road deaths in Europe between 2000 and 2010.