Quantum XXI Inc. has developed GOLDbus, a computer tablet technology for school buses and other fleets that is vastly improved over the old GPS/AVL firmware approach. The supplier worked directly with school districts to determine features that enhance student safety and driver accountability and bring savings to districts.
The tablet solution for school buses is unique in the flexibility it offers. Applications are all-inclusive in the initial software package pricing. All features are built into the software; school districts can implement them with no “add-on” cost.
Because GOLDbus is software-based, it can be used on any tablet or computer with a Microsoft-based platform. Quantum XXI recommends the sturdy Fujitsu tablet for school buses.
The Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools transportation department tested several tablets with the GOLDbus software and found that it worked flawlessly on all of them, but that the Fujitsu tablet, built to military standards, proved to be the sturdiest for withstanding temperature changes, bumpy roads, dust, etc.
GOLDbus includes all the basic GPS/AVL features and many others that integrate seamlessly within the system, as well as with other software used in school districts, such as routing, fleet management, payroll, human resources and student information.
GPS/AVL is built into the hardware (tablet) and includes features such as real-time and historical data, including bus locations, speed, and departure and arrival times; length of time spent at locations; comparative analysis of actual versus planned times; and standard and customized reports of events.
Initially, the tablet may be more expensive to purchase than simple GPS tracking hardware. However, the many advantages, including the ruggedness of the tablet, the software-based system that accommodates other tablets and upgrades, and the fact that all software components that most companies sell separately are included in the price without needing to install additional hardware, firmware or software, make it a practical choice for a long-term investment.
For more information about Quantum XXI, visit www.quantumxxi.com.
Rebecca Peters of Education Consulting LLC is a retired superintendent of schools from Virginia. She served as superintendent of schools in the city of Alexandria [Va.] and as superintendent of schools in Mecklenburg County, Va. She has also served in many other administrative positions in education, including director of technology and director of career and technical education in Fauquier County, Va.