Following the market launch of the new A-Class on 15 September, delivery of the model designed for use as a driving school vehicle has now commenced. Two special equipment packages are available, supplemented by the "toBE" special driving school model. But it is not only young road users looking to obtain their driving licence who will be able to experience the Mercedes way of driving: RoadSense, the interactive road safety education programme for 8th grade pupils, is also being switched over to the new A-Class.
RoadSense was developed to sharpen young people's awareness of their own behavior and responsibility in road traffic as early as possible. Under the guidance of specially trained instructors, the youngsters spend half a day actively learning how to assess their own roles as passengers and those of other participants in road traffic in order to resolve conflicts and avoid risks. As part of the practical exercises, each pupil is able to sit behind the wheel for a brief moment and control a vehicle in a closed-off area.
At the same time, the almost 100 driving instructors involved in the RoadSense programme have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new driving school vehicles. Two equipment packages are offered:
The basic driving school package costs 495 euros (Germany, inc. 19% VAT) and comprises
adaptation of the cockpit to accommodate the twin sets of pedals
a control switch in the centre console for driver's footwell illumination and warning signal for the twin sets of pedals
twin rearview mirrors
adaptation of the floor covering in the driver's and front passengers' footwells for the twin sets of pedals
the Light and Sight package and
the Seat Comfort package
The overall driving school package (1150 euros) also includes the twin sets of pedals. This is also part of the special A-Class "toBE" model. The special model provides driving instructors with a particularly pleasant working environment thanks to a whole host of comfort extras, similar to the special driving school B-Class "toBE" model. The A-Class "toBE" model is now available to order, with customer deliveries commencing from January 2013.
RoadSense: more than 5000 pupils gain interactive experience
So far a total of more than 5000 pupils from all types of school have taken part in the RoadSense programme. By the end of 2012, almost 7000 young people from a variety of German cities are expected to have attended the event at Mercedes-Benz. New RoadSense sites have been set up in the city of Fulda as well as cities in the Ruhr district (Bochum-Wattenscheid), in addition to the existing training sites in Bremen, Stuttgart, Munich and Berlin. There are also plans to add Leipzig and Ravensburg as additional sites too.
To test the effectiveness of the programme, RoadSense was assessed by the Jacobs University in Bremen. The assessment was designed as a control group test and included a survey six months after completion of the RoadSense programme to check whether participation in the scheme had resulted in lasting changes. The results showed that the attitudes of the RoadSense trainees towards road traffic and safety were significantly more pronounced.