The international bus sector is still severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To support bus companies and public operators and to protect passengers and bus drivers from becoming infected with the virus, MAN Truck & Bus quickly developed measures to ensure hygiene and is continually improving these.
MAN now offers high-performance microparticle filters with antiviral effect, alongside many other measures. These are available for all new MAN and NEOPLAN buses as optional equipment ex works, or as a retrofit solution via the MAN service network for vehicles that are already in use.
Effect of the filter
The MAN Genuine antiviral interior air filters actively protect against the transmission of viruses by significantly reducing the concentration of virus aerosols inside the vehicle. This is made possible by the structure of the system, which has several layers of filters. These layers effectively filter harmful gas emissions as well as inorganic and biological particles and aerosols, capturing and neutralising them. Their concentration in the air is reduced significantly–thanks to the high level of filtration provided by the first two layers. The antiviral effect of the third biofunctional layer almost completely disables any remaining viruses.
The new cabin air filters filter viral aerosols with a progressive multi-layer design, preventing viral re-aerosolisation. The first two layers capture the majority of ultra-fine viral aerosols. In addition, the third, biofunctional layer almost completely inactivates the absorbed viral load and thus prevents the release of active viruses back into the cabin air (Source: Freudenberg Filtration Technologies).
More frequent air changes
A very low risk of infection inside the bus is already ensured by the high-performance air-conditioning systems that are equipped as standard in MAN and NEOPLAN buses. Whatever the season, they guarantee an effective exchange of air, and therefore an optimal supply of fresh air. Every two to four minutes, the air inside the bus is completely replaced with fresh air. This exchange is much more frequent than is typical in offices or residential properties.
“Sensible and effective safety measures against coronavirus are extremely important in regaining and increasing passengers’ confidence in bus travel.” – Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus
“The interior air filters play a significant role in providing the cleanest possible air inside the buses, and in further minimising the risk of viral transmission.” – Heinz Kiess, Head of Product Marketing Bus at MAN Truck & Bus
Another building block of MAN’s extensive concept for protection against infection with coronavirus is the hygienic protective screen for the driver’s workplace. This is installed on almost all city buses, intercity buses and coaches from MAN and NEOPLAN ex works, and is available via the MAN service network for retrofitting.
Floor-to-ceiling panels protect against SARS-CoV-2 viruses and other infections. Therefore, this solution should play a major role in ensuring that bus drivers can go about their work as safely as possible.
Kiess says, “Of course, the specially developed hygienic screens also meet all the legal requirements and never impair the driver’s vision. All these measures and solutions are possible for the buses that we manufacture, whether they are new or already in use. Of course, used vehicles from MAN TopUsed can also be equipped with comprehensive safety measures against coronavirus.” It is also possible to retrofit hand sanitiser dispensers, to provide another layer of protection for passengers.
Protective film coating
MAN Truck & Bus is also paying special attention to ensure the vehicle equipment works without a hitch. “To guarantee that, we offer our customers comprehensive service packages,” says Kiess. Among other things, these include the maintenance and cleaning of the air-conditioning system, or a complete vehicle check on request. Another measure offered to customers is to coat the interiors of the buses with a special surface coating. A protective film is applied to the surfaces to reliably contain the spread of viruses, bacteria and germs.
He further adds, “All these measures serve to increase the safety of drivers and passengers. At the same time, we want to help our customers make their businesses easier, more profitable, more sustainable, and future-proof. Well over a thousand vehicles have already been equipped with our coronavirus-proofing measures across Europe. This shows how much demand there is for custom solutions and comprehensive safety concepts.”