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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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Synovia Corp.
Synovia’s Silverlining Suite of Solutions offers GPS fleet tracking with management functionality, including web-based comparative analysis and time and attendance. CEO Jon King says time and attendance can be integrated into an operation’s payroll system, and that comparative analysis can help districts adjust their routes for increased efficiency by showing planned versus actual routes.

“Reports are more user-friendly,” he adds. “A school district will have a menu of 30 key performance indicators, and they can choose which ones they want.”

Beyond its Silverlining Suite of Solutions, Synovia is offering customers a guarantee package called Synsurance.

“With all GPS, there’s a certain amount of hardware that goes into it,” King explains. “With Synsurance, the customer gets a lifetime warranty on all of that hardware. We also guarantee a certain level of uptime, we host the solution, we guarantee a fixed price and we give the customer a certain number of software updates annually.”

Transfinder’s RouteBuilder solution can help users refine and optimize their routes for greater efficiency.
<p>Transfinder’s RouteBuilder solution can help users refine and optimize their routes for greater efficiency.</p>

Transfinder Corp.
Barbara Kane Pilliod, vice president of marketing, says RouteBuilder is Transfinder’s GPS implementation service that is free to new clients — they receive GPS units that create routes while drivers are on their runs.  

The routes are imported into Transfinder’s Routefinder Pro system. Pilliod says RouteBuilder enables pupil transporters to experience the benefits of GPS without the capital expense of initially outfitting all of their buses.

“Users can generate route sheets on the first day, and observe where buses are traveling, where drivers are stopping and when stops are occurring — all at no cost,” she adds.

Busfinder is GPS integration software that can read data from units supplied by most GPS hardware vendors.

With Busfinder, users can track actual versus planned routes.

“In some instances, this enables clients to make an assessment of any variances to see if the routes a driver took make more sense due to changing road conditions,” Pilliod explains. “Then the transportation manager can make an adjustment to the planned routes. In other cases, the transportation manager may instruct drivers not to deviate from the planned routes to ensure safety or efficiency.”

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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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