School bus service contractors are responsible for getting students to and from school safely and soundly. Besides picking up and dropping off students at designated stops along the bus route, school bus operators are also responsible for inspecting their vehicles before each journey to ensure the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers on the road. For an operator of a large fleet of school buses, manually inspecting each bus used to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive affair. With the IoT-500 installed, however, monitoring sensors and cameras replace the work performed by human eyes, allowing critical data to be collected and transmitted to the cloud for remote management.
Regular pre-trip inspections are part of the safety and maintenance regime of any commercial vehicle. After all, timely detection of low or abnormal fluid levels, excessive brake wear, and malfunctioning emergency systems allows corrective measures to be taken or faulty parts to be replaced in order to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate. Previously, the school bus service contractor required two personnel to manually perform each pre-trip inspection: one technician to inspect and another person to fill out the safety checklists and paperwork for data records. This was not only costly in terms of time and labor costs, but also susceptible to human error in data collection and record-keeping.
The AMobile IoT-500 allows the school bus service contractor to automate their pre- trip safety inspections and also enable remote management of their entire fleet over 4G networks. The specialized internal communications subsystems that interconnect microcontrollers and other components inside the operator’s school buses use the common yet highly robust CAN bus protocol. By connecting these subsystems to the built- in CAN bus port on the IoT-500, the fleet operator is able to instantly collect diagnostic data from any vehicle. All that is required is for the driver to tap the IoT-500’s touchscreen to start running the pre-trip safety check. Once the diagnostics are complete, the IoT-500 transmits the data over 4G networks to the control center where the information is instantly recorded without requiring any manual data entry.
Data and images from various sensors, cameras, and meters are also collected by the IoT-500 and sent to the cloud. The built-in camera also provides continuous surveillance. What’s more, the IoT-500’s built-in GPS also allows fleet managers to locate and track the location of any vehicle in real time. In larger urban and rural school districts, being able to track their children’s school bus will give parents and guardians added peace of mind. For the bus service operator, onboard monitoring ensures safety as it alerts both the driver and the control center of any abnormalities. Useful statistics, such as driving speed, fuel economy, driving patterns, and routing, can also be generated to evaluate the performance of drivers and vehicles and improve operational efficiency.
With typical school buses in North America weighing more 25,000 pounds and carrying up to 72 passengers, pre-trip inspection of a vehicle’s fuel and fluid levels, wiring, brakes, and emergency systems is certainly a crucial part of ensuring vehicle and passenger safety for school bus operators. The AMobile IoT-500 makes school buses safer, more reliable, and much easier to maintain and operate. Enhanced passenger safety will no doubt win praises from all stakeholders. Moreover, the advantage of installing the smart school bus system is multiplied by the number of vehicles in a fleet, making it an attractive investment for any operator of a large bus fleet.