SETRA DOUBLE-DECKER COACH SETS NEW BENCHMARKS
With over 2300 units sold since its launch in 2003, the preceding model is the clear market leader in the double-decker coach segment, according to Setra. Customers include many long-haul bus operators, Setra claims. Around three quarters of double-deckers operating long-haul routes are Setras.
Just under 15 years on from its original launch date, the two-decker luxury touring coach has now received a facelift. Due to its improved aerodynamics, the new double-decker consumes up to ten percent less fuel than its predecessor. This is equivalent to several thousand litres of diesel a year, depending on the mileage covered. In terms of safety and assistance systems, the Setra double-decker coach sets new standards. It is the world’s first bus to be fitted with an emergency brake system with obstacle and pedestrian recognition – and Sideguard Assist for the blind spot. A high-performance media router on board allows fast WiFi and offline use of media services.
Double-decker coaches are impressive and technically highly complex vehicles and are often referred to as the premium class of touring coaches. The new premium-class model from the Setra brand is manufactured at the EvoBus plant in Neu-Ulm. More than 200 units were handed over to customers in 2016 alone. On average one Setra double-decker coach rolls off the production line in Neu-Ulm every working day. The highly qualified team cater explicitly to the enormous complexity and range of the customers’ special requests for each bus.
Market growth is expected to come from the route network passengers in Germany alone and an ever-expanding route network in Europe. Further growth is forecasted for 2017. A slight increase to over 26 million passengers is expected – with a two percent increase on German routes and an increase of up to seven percent on international routes. In Germany the route network is already well developed, with particularly high capacity utilisation on main routes between larger cities. With over 80 seats, the new Setra double-decker coach is the biggest touring coach from Daimler Buses, making it ideal for busy long-haul bus routes. Daimler Buses holds a market share of over 40 percent in the constantly growing European long-distance bus market. In Germany, one in two long-haul buses features the Mercedes-Benz or Setra logo. In the Flixbus fleet in Germany, Austria and Switzerland the figure is even higher, at over 60 percent.
The new double decker from Setra sees the world premiere of two new safety and assistance systems for buses. In addition to the previously available functions – maximum full-stop braking in response to stationary objects and obstacles moving ahead of the vehicle – the emergency brake system Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4) now also incorporates pedestrian recognition with automatic braking.
The Sideguard Assist uses radar sensors to monitor the lane to the right of the coach along the vehicle’s entire length. It helps the driver with the blind spot, and warns of pedestrians, cyclists or stationary obstacles while turning. On the highway, it additionally serves as a lane-changing assistant. The new double-decker from Setra also comes as standard with long-life LED headlights which are kind on the eyes.
Despite its size, the new double-decker coach has a highly aerodynamic design. At the front, strongly curved windscreens with and large edge radii allow the air to flow around the vehicle, while at the rear recesses and airflow break-away edges guide the airflow. The development engineers have attended to the most minute details: the windscreen wiper on the upper deck is vertical in its rest position, for example – a feature adopted from motorsport. This results in a drag coefficient of Cd = 0.35 – a new benchmark in this segment. The aerodynamic design helps ensure that fuel consumption is up to ten percent lower than that of the previous model, depending on use. Depending on the mileage covered, this adds up to savings of several thousand litres of fuel annually.