School buses are the carriers of the most important cargo – tiny human lives. With children’s safety becoming an increasing cause for concern, most schools are today turning to smart solutions to ensure that the journey aboard the bus is safe, efficient and more transparent.
Most schools usually deploy conductors or ensure the presence of an adult to supervise the transit. They are also under the assumption that the drivers are well-trained and that no mishap is likely to occur. However, this is not always true.
While a school bus tracker also cannot guarantee safety for you, what it can do is assist you in the transport and also take away the stress that comes with it. Hence, think of it not as an additional investment, but a supplement assist.
What is a school management solution?
While it is impossible to be with the kids at every moment, the technology today empowers you enough to avert any kind of mishap.
A good quality vehicle tracking system helps in keeping track of the whereabouts of the children while they are en route to school. It brings parents and teachers on to one platform, thereby not only facilitating easy tracking but also simplifying communication.
Features of a transport manager app
Fleet tracking devices have been around for a while. While earlier, they only served as a GPS assist, advanced solutions these days come with multiple customization options like real-time location tracking, route optimization, in-built camera, and message broadcasting, among others.
Modern applications also provide you with elements like heat sensors, alcohol detection, telematics, and child checkmate or two-step authenticator.
Depending on your requirements as well as the budget constraints you can choose the features that you would like to add in the tracker.
Most applications these days are both desktop friendly as well as can be operated via mobile. Thus, the key to the safety of the child is just a click away.
Advanced software also allows you to keep a tab on two or more kids in the same application, although they are in different schools or different geographical locations.
The software also allows you to keep a close watch on the drivers’ behavior on the bus. Not only his vehicular speed can be tracked, but the in-built camera also lets you know his understanding with the children.
Why should you invest in a school bus GPS tracking system?
The question is not why you should, but why you shouldn’t. In order to make the benefits clear, let us look at some of the features of the software and how they can change the way you operate.
With 360°cameras equipped with live-streaming and recording, both parents and school authorities can be rest assured about the safety of the children. A dashboard-mounted camera is a device designed to record everything that happens when you drive.
It not only keeps a tab on what is happening inside the bus but also tracks the surroundings outside. Those monitoring the live feed can alert authorities if they spot anything amiss.
This is especially useful to check if the bus has taken a detour or is involved in any minor accident like pushing of students, fire or any other emergency.
The footage can come in handy when the matter is presented before the law enforcement agencies. It can also help you while filing insurance claims and settling litigation’s if any.
This is especially beneficial when the school has outsourced fleet and has no connection with the drivers or buses, whatsoever.
Monitoring drivers’ behavior
Drivers are the most important asset of fleet management. However, ill-trained drivers can also turn out to be the biggest liability.
Modern-day applications allows you to monitor your drivers’ activity, the routes they take, the speed at which the vehicle travels as well as the sharp or sudden turns that are taken.
This not only helps you pull up a driver in case of faulty road travel but also serves as a good teaching material for the peers to learn from.
With sensor technologies, school bus drivers can develop greater insights about the road they take.
Sensors can help you detect the presence of any object or a person in areas beyond the vision of the normal human eye.
Most of the systems provide visual alerts appearing on or near the side-view mirrors upon detecting the blind spot. Certain systems also have voice activation modules to alert the drivers.
The sensors can be helpful when the vehicle is making a turn, in reverse mode or while parking. Few systems also have an adaptive headlight that activates under the dark conditions.
The most basic function of a school bus management software is to track the fleet and provide information to all the parties involved.
Parents, school authorities and transport managers can easily track the bus movements. With real-time updates, they can always be in the information loop.
Apart from this, most solutions also come with in-built maps. These not only help the driver venture into unknown terrains with ease but also guides them on the best route available, traffic lanes to avoid and find out on what is estimated time of arrival.
On the other hand, the parents can also have beforehand information on when the bus is expected to arrive. Hence, they can keep their ward ready accordingly.
A school bus tracker app will also send out a notification to parents in case of an emergency.
Most applications also come with an in-built panic button that gets activated when the bus is involved in an accident. The alert can also be sent if the child manually presses the button from the dashboard on the bus in case of a looming danger.
Just like how it does to your online accounts, two-step authentication on buses adds an additional layer of security to the journey. The parents can be informed of the child’s boarding and dropping via an instant alert.
Apart from this, most schools have RFID chips integrated within the ID cards. The device automatically logs the wards’ attendance as soon as he/she hops on the bus and also registers the time when they board off. Hence, both parents and school are in the loop regarding the whereabouts of the child.
School Bus Route Optimization is an automated process that generates the most efficient route while taking into consideration a variety of factors like — traffic, weather conditions, distance from the destination, number of pickups during the journey among others.
While usually, a transport manager takes care of these things, a modern school bus tracker uses telematics and Artificial Intelligence to select the best route possible.
This also ensures operational efficiency as the software accurately monitors the routes taken, thereby eliminating the possibility of drivers using the vehicle for unauthorized reasons. Besides, the geofencing alert also keeps a tab on them.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, a school bus tracking system will also help you in reducing operational costs, fuel management, better staff management and timely maintenance of the fleet.
It is important to remember that when it comes to the security of the children, there’s no room for error. With a modern school bus tracker, you are not only giving them a comfortable conveyance but are also ensuring the safe transit of tiny humans.