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April 19, 2012  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

GPS: fleet tracking and more

Today’s systems for the pupil transportation market allow end users to monitor the location of their operation’s buses, and they can help in performing many other functions, such as route analysis and monitoring driver speed and idling.

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Child Check-Mate’s EP2 system can be integrated with any GPS platform.
<p>Child Check-Mate’s EP2 system can be integrated with any GPS platform.</p>

Child Check-Mate System Inc.
Child Check-Mate System’s EP2 has the ability to work with any GPS platform.

President Gordon Both says that Child Check-Mate is working with two GPS companies and is in discussion with a third to integrate the EP2 with their offerings.

“Everyday Solutions has done that and is currently up and running with the communication of our two products,” Both says, adding that the company hopes to work with all GPS providers to the school bus market. 

When the EP2 is integrated with a GPS system, managers can receive text messages or e-mail alerts when the child-check alarm has been activated, with location information, as well as notification of when and where the driver performed the check.  

Officials can also receive verification that the EP2 system is operating daily, and Both says detailed reports can be generated to help monitor the child-check procedures of each bus driver.

Everyday Solutions Inc.
Everyday Solutions Inc. (ESI) offers numerous GPS-based products.

The ESI Total Solution for School Transportation Management includes   GPS tracking that incorporates proprietary bus movement algorithms to perform school bus-specific calculations on the vehicle before transmitting the information over the air to a central database, according to Vice President of Marketing Bill Westerman.

The ESI Total Solution for School Transportation Management includes GPS tracking that incorporates proprietary bus movement algorithms.
<p>The ESI Total Solution for School Transportation Management includes GPS tracking that incorporates proprietary bus movement algorithms.</p>

“Accurate location information is captured every second, and consolidated data packets are transmitted in customer-specified intervals,” he adds.

EveryChildCheck™ is an interface between ESI’s GPS system and the Child Check-Mate system. In addition to the functions that Gordon Both mentioned, Westerman says it enables a school district to manage their entire fleet of Child Check-Mate-equipped school buses from a central location.

ESI’s BusPadPro™ mobile data terminal is connected to the GPS transceiver on a school bus. The device is installed in the bus’ cockpit and provides the driver with applications that are designed to streamline operations and enhance services. Applications include rider attendance, vehicle inspection, emergency alert and address navigation.

REI’s ARMOR GPS solution can be integrated with the Bus-Watch video surveillance system.
<p>REI’s ARMOR GPS solution can be integrated with the Bus-Watch video surveillance system.</p>
Radio Engineering Industries (REI)
REI’s ARMOR GPS solution can be used as a standalone system, but Chris Shigley, sales manager for bus/transit, says that ARMOR is generally most beneficial when it is integrated with REI’s Bus-Watch video surveillance system because it reduces installation work and equipment costs.

“We’ve taken the longitude and latitude data from our video surveillance solution and we’re passing that via a cellular router and sending it to a single server environment for a true computerized dispatch/AVL solution,” Shigley explains.  “You can do real-time vehicle location, Geofences, determine whether drivers are on their routes, if they’ve deployed the bus’ stop arm, etc.”

Moreover, a number of reports can be generated and alerts can be sent out if a driver is speeding, idling the bus too long or engaging in other undesirable behavior.

A new option for the company’s GPS solution is the ability to make bus arrival times available to parents who have a smartphone with Internet capability.

The transportation department provides a link on the district’s website, which parents can access.

“The system is constantly updating to determine when the bus is going to be at the next stop,” Shigley says.

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There's also NorthStar (http://northstar.ws), a startup that's focused on child safety from the point of view of a school bus. A combination of GPS, RFID, SMS, webcam and other sensors to detect unsafe driving, unscheduled stops, children left on the bus, automatic attendance, monitoring unruly children and much more.

Kunal Ashar    |    May 24, 2012 09:55 PM

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