MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird announced on Tuesday that it is making electronic stability control (ESC) and backup cameras standard on its school buses.
The standard ESC feature, supplied by braking systems provider Bendix, is available for buses equipped with air brakes, and the backup camera systems will apply to all new school buses built in 2019.
The school bus manufacturer first introduced ESC to customers in 2015.
“We are always looking to be one step ahead in regards to safety,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird. “We offered ESC to customers three years before anyone else, because we knew then that this safety feature would be necessary in the near future. It was an easy decision to provide this to customers as a standard feature.”
Using a group of sensors, the ESC system is notified when a potential situation may occur, and activates the brakes in a sequence to reduce the chances of losing control of the bus. In medium- and heavy-duty truck applications, ESC serves as a way to prevent rollover incidents, and works well to prevent incidents on icy, wet, sandy, and muddy roads, according to Blue Bird.
Blue Bird has also added a rear backup camera as a standard feature on all of their school buses going forward. The school bus manufacturer's backup camera system utilizes a single camera located at the back of the vehicle. The camera provides a 150-degree field of vision image of the rear of the bus to the driver through a 7-inch LCD color monitor displayed in the rearview mirror. The image shows when the bus is in reverse, and features night vision capability. Additionally, Blue Bird is also working on developing a dash-mounted monitor, which will be available soon.
“Beyond the obvious safety aspects of a backup camera system, many new bus drivers are used to having backup cameras in their personal vehicles. We also want to tailor our buses to give drivers confidence while driving,” Terry said. “Providing additional safety features on buses not only helps keep our children safe, it also gives drivers greater confidence while operating the bus.”