RICHMOND, Va. — Thomas Built Buses unveiled a new platform of factory-installed options for its Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus at the National Association for Pupil Transportation trade show on Tuesday.
Company officials said that BusWise combines innovations in safety, efficiency, serviceability and fleet management. The platform integrates components from brands like Zonar and Mobileye into a customizable suite of technologies.
“At Thomas Built Buses, we are always looking for new ways to make our products better and safer,” President and CEO Caley Edgerly said. “BusWise equips our vehicles with more safety and efficiency features than are available on any other school bus on the road.”
At the trade show, Edgerly made connections between the features of BusWise and the capabilities of a barn owl — both are “sensitive, efficient and intelligent,” he said. Edgerly brought that point to life by bringing out a real barn owl on his gloved hand as he spoke to onlookers.
BusWise technologies on the Saf-T-Liner C2 will integrate with Zonar’s tracking and operations solutions to provide real-time information to transportation directors and technicians. Standard from Zonar is a driver monitoring system that provides real-time alerts for speeding, excessive idling, hard acceleration, braking, cornering and out-of-route miles, which can lessen fuel economy.
One of the key BusWise features is a warning system from Mobileye that helps drivers avoid forward collisions, pedestrian collisions and lane departure. It also includes a speed limit indicator and headway monitoring function.
Additionally, BusWise provides school bus drivers with enhanced visibility through a multi-camera system with a 360-degree exterior view. Thomas Built officials said this enables drivers to monitor other vehicles on the road while driving and when children are boarding and exiting the bus.
Among the optional functions of BusWise are Zonar’s Z Pass ridership solution and new MyBusVue app.
BusWise can track dozens of other bus functions, including driver seat belt use, door opening and closing, wheelchair-lift activation, stop-arm operation and the parking brake. BusWise can also make buses Wi-Fi ready.
Through Zonar, BusWise includes remote diagnostics that can view fault codes to help identify potential issues. For example, the system monitors tire pressure, alerting drivers of any pressure changes. The system also automates routine maintenance scheduling and integrates with third-party maintenance systems.
For more information, customers should contact their local Thomas Built Buses dealer.