The Concept of the New Driver's Workplace for City Buses 2000-01-3435
Mannesmann VDO, Information Systems Commercial Vehicles, has developed a new driver's workplace for regular service buses. The modern design of the cockpit includes important innovations: a completely redesigned dashboard, which can be adjusted in relation to the steering wheel and so adapted to the driver's needs. Thus the working conditions of the driver are markedly improved.
Since the vehicles on the regular German bus services were standardized at the end of the 60's, no further important alterations in the working environment of the driver have been made. However in the interim period, technology has made decisive progress. In a concept worked out in concert with professional associations, vehicle manufacturers, ergonomics experts, trade unions, interest groups and transport services, the criteria for a modern cockpit in a city bus have been established and were demonstrated in a study at the IAA in 1994. Mannesmann VDO has developed this concept to the series production stage and is now presenting a qualified product already running in 70 cities in six different countries.
The driver's workplace now being presented is based on both the most recent scientific findings and on suggestions and requests of bus drivers. Just how important the ergonomic design of the driver's workplace is, can be illustrated by statistics: approximately 30 % of the drivers on regular bus routes leave for reasons of back problems. Regardless of whether the driver is 1,58 m (5′3″) or 2,00 m (6′6″) tall, he can set a comfortable sitting position and one that is adapted to the job. This is made possible by a new construction: the complete steering column can be pneumatically adjusted after pressing a switch, in height and angle.
Switches that are frequently in use are grouped in such a way that they are within immediate reach of the driver and are accessible without excessive bending forward. In addition, the integration of the ventilation outlets in the adjustable dashboard provides the driver with a significant improvement in the level of comfort.