Driver Ergonomics in City Buses and Coaches 2014-01-2424
Bus and coach drivers spend considerably more time in the vehicle, compared to an average personal car user. However, when it comes to comfort levels, the personal cars, even the inexpensive hatchbacks score much higher than a standard bus. This is because the amount of ergonomic design considerations that go into designing a car's DWS (driver workspace) is much more than that of buses.
To understand this lacuna, the existing standards and recommendations pertaining directly or remotely to bus driver workspace were studied. It was understood, beyond certain elementary recommendations, there were very few standards available exclusively for buses.
This paper ventures to establish a set of guidelines, exclusively for designing bus and coach driver workspace. The various systems in the driver's work space and their relevance to driver's ergonomics are discussed. References are drawn from different case studies and standards to come up with recommendations and guidelines. For those aspects that were not covered in existing literature, physical evaluations were done on select Ashok Leyland buses.
Besides physical evaluation, virtual ergonomic checks were also done on vehicle DMUs (Digital Mock Ups). For this purpose, manikins were modeled using Catia HBR (Human Builder 2) module and virtual evaluations were done using Catia DH2 configurator. Besides studying the driver's reachability of controls and other ergonomic aspects, emphasis was given to understand the factors influencing driver's field of vision.
The consolidation of these DMU simulations, physical evaluation and case studies can be used by designers and engineers as a ready reckoner for designing driver's workplace, that is futuristic, driver friendly and ultimately safe for both the driver and other road users.