“Top View” at the Stuttgart TV Tower
Enjoying the view from the Stuttgart TV Tower? Capturing new perspectives? Writing a travel journal? Or what else are the some 30 journalists from a wide variety of media outlets ranging from the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Omnibusspiegel to international commercial vehicle magazines doing on the event platform at a height of 144 meters above the roofs of Stuttgart?
No question about it: The weather and thus also the visibility on this azure day are excellent. There is a fantastic view of the region, including of the Stuttgart Palace Square, the vineyards of the Neckar Valley and the Swabian Jura. But the scenic view isn't the only thing that is promising: the world premiere of the new Setra S 531 DT double-decker bus is as well.
To live up to the title of the event – “Top View” –, the program literally offers ‘top views.’ The official welcome on the event platform of the TV tower and a brief touristic note (“What all can you see from up here?”), is followed by the actual press conference with Hartmut Schick, Chairman of the Daimler Buses Division, and Gustav Tuschen, Head of Development Daimler Buses. The two present the new double-decker bus in detail. Live images from a drone flight are being piped in continually during the press conference – before the new double-decker bus is unveiled about one and a half hours later. The guests experience this vehicle reveal directly from the airy event platform thanks to the drone images, before they then descend back to ground level and head to the vehicle.
The Setra S 531 DT double-decker bus – fascinating views in every aspect
But what exactly is it that makes the bus so special? The newly presented Setra S 531 DT double-decker bus is a new edition of the double-decker luxury coach after nearly 15 years. Since being launched in 2003, the preceding model has been the clear market leader in the segment of double-decker buses with sales of more than 2,300 vehicles. Among the customers are also many operators of long-distance buses: around three fourths of the double-decker buses in the long-distance bus business come from Setra.
“The Setra double-decker bus is the largest and most comfortable coach from Daimler Buses and the clear market leader in its segment. No other bus is as fuel-efficient, versatile and safe as the new double-decker premium coach,” says Hartmut Schick
Thanks to a number of features that include improved aerodynamics, the new double-decker consumes up to ten percent less fuel than its predecessor. Depending on the annual distance driven, this translates into several thousand liters of diesel fuel a year. The Setra double-decker bus also sets new standards in terms of safety and assistance systems. It is the first bus in the world to come with an advanced emergency braking system featuring obstacle and pedestrian recognition – as well as a cornering assistance system for the blind spot. A powerful on-board media router provides fast Wi-Fi and enables offline use of media offerings.
Safety: World premiere of advanced emergency braking system and cornering assistance system in buses
No less than two new safety and assistance systems celebrate their world premiere in buses in the new double-decker from Setra. In addition to the previously available functions – emergency stop for stationary or moving obstacles in front – the Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4) advanced emergency braking system features pedestrian recognition with automatic braking response.
The Sideguard Assist cornering assistance system uses radar sensors to monitor the lane to the right of the bus over its entire length. It assists the driver in the area of the blind spot and warns of pedestrians, bicyclists and stationary obstacles when turning. In addition, out of town it serves as a lane change assistance system. Furthermore, the new double-decker from Setra comes as standard with eye-friendly and long-lasting LED main headlamps.
Efficiency: outstanding aerodynamics lower the fuel consumption
The new double-decker bus is designed for best aerodynamics. The airstream flows around strongly curved windscreens and large edge radii at the front, while being deflected by indents and spoiler lips at the rear. The result is a drag coefficient of Cd = 0.35, a new record in this segment. The aerodynamics play a role in lowering the fuel consumption by up to ten percent over the predecessor model, depending on the type of use. Depending on the annual distance driven, this translates into savings of several thousand liters of fuel a year.
Double-decker buses as the premier class of coaches
An exploratory trip through Stuttgart under the motto “What you can only see from a double-decker!” as well as a photo shoot at Solitude Castle bring the world premiere of the Setra 531 DT to a close. The journalists and media reps were thus able to get a personal and fascinating insight into and a look ahead to the so-called ‘premier class’ of coaches. A wide range of applications – long-distance travel, long-distance and intercity line service, tourist and tour buses – will ensure that people will catch sight the new double-decker bus more often and provide opportunities to personally enjoy the ‘top view’ from the coach one day maybe.
PS: Setra presented ist first double-decker bus at the IAA in 1981. In the follwing slide Show you are going to find a small flashback of Setra's double-decker buses throughout the ages: