Samsara and Edulog launched an integrated solution designed to help track ridership, plan routes...

Samsara and Edulog launched an integrated solution designed to help track ridership, plan routes that support social distancing, and share real-time updates with parents.

Photo courtesy Edulog and Samsara

Internet of Things (IoT) solutions supplier Samsara and routing software provider Edulog have partnered to launch their integrated solution designed to enhance student safety, route planning, and parent communication.

With this new integration, the companies’ shared customers will be able to leverage Samsara data directly in the Edulog software and Parent Portal, according to a blog post published by Samsara.

The integration will allow users to:

● Design routes that support social distancing guidelines and perform contact tracing with visibility into student ridership.
● Streamline parent communications by proactively sharing real-time estimated time of arrivals (ETAs), route updates, and more in a mobile app.
● Plan safe, efficient routes with modeling tools backed by granular data about true ridership, fleet utilization, and route performance.

Edulog’s routing software is designed to help school districts create routes that accommodate different bell times and capacity considerations for social distancing (such as the need to seat only one student per row). With Samsara ID Card Readers and real-time GPS tracking, schools can capture data on when and where students board and disembark from their buses. Whether schools need to respond to an accident, locate a missing child, or perform contact tracing, access to real-time ridership data and route histories helps transportation officials quickly track down which route students are on, locate the bus, and confirm who else is on the bus.

Additionally, the integration allows parents to access real-time data in a Parent Portal app. Samsara automatically transmits real-time GPS and ID card data to the Edulog platform. Transportation departments can use Parent Portal to proactively notify parents of any changes in route plans, send messages instantly to a target audience, and create custom alert zones to notify parents when the bus is approaching.

Samsara provides granular GPS trip histories and historical ID card scans to help track trends in on-time performance, vehicle utilization, and student ridership. Users can streamline their workflows by accessing Samsara data in their Edulog software program by making route optimization decisions, modeling what-if scenarios, and adjusting plans based on “true ridership” (how many students actually ride the bus, as opposed to how many sign up). Once plans have been adjusted, the Samsara Driver App provides drivers the tools they need to access their assignments and perform inspections.

Roger Miller, the transportation manager at East Allen County Schools in New Haven, Ind., told Samsara that the integrated offering was especially helpful in running operations during the pandemic.

“This school year, agility and accountability were especially important as we prepared to reopen in the face of COVID-19,” Miller said. “By working with Edulog and Samsara, we were able to optimize our route plans and move from hard-wired telematics devices to a driver-friendly, tablet-based solution. This solution helps us transport students safely and efficiently.”

Miller added that his department was able to train drivers to use the tablets in two hours, that the new system allows for faster re-routes, and that it is also implementing Edulog’s Parent Portal app.

Although access to accurate, real-time data is critical for school districts to respond to parents more confidently, improve the quality of their transportation, and keep students safe, having a route management system that is the foundation for that data is just as important, Jason Corbally, Edulog’s president, told Samsara.

“You have to plan, analyze, and manage what is best for students and the community, as Edulog clients have been doing for 40 years,” he added. “The Edulog and Samsara integration will give schools, students, and parents the data and planning tools needed for a safe and efficient return to school this year.”