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How to Turn Your School Bus Fleet into Next Generation Connected Buses
Written by: Kajeet
Today’s school buses are more than just vehicles to transport students. They are mobile classrooms where students can continue to learn, get a jump start on homework, or study for tests.
But providing those learning opportunities through filtered school bus Wi-Fi is just the beginning.
Introducing the Kajeet Connected SmartBus™.
The Connected SmartBus deploys enhanced technologies on the bus, to ensure a safer ride for students and bus drivers. It brings together safety features and advanced technology on each individual school bus.
The following solutions create the Connected Bus, including: filtered Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS), Push-to-Talk (PTT), Camera Offload, and Intelligent Sensors.
Let’s get rolling!
School Bus Wi-Fi: Extend the Classroom to the Bus
Wi-Fi serves not only as the connecting factor for many of this school bus technology, but it also provides students more time to get their schoolwork done!
Some school districts, such as Merced Union High School District in California, use school bus Wi-Fi as a way to provide equal access as part of their 1:1 initiative.
While others, like Raytown School District in Missouri have seen a 45 percent reduction in school bus disciplinary referrals.
Kajeet provides CIPA-compliant, filtered Wi-Fi through the Kajeet SmartBus™ solution. Students can only access educational websites when connected, keeping their focus on schoolwork and not on games or inappropriate websites.
To learn more about how school bus Wi-Fi works, check out our blog post on it here.
GPS: Know the Whereabouts of Every School Bus
It’s important to be able to know where your school buses are when they are out driving students to and from school, or school-sponsored events.
If there’s an emergency where the bus breaks down and another bus needs to be sent out to transfer the students, it’s easy to login to the Kajeet Sentinel® dashboard to pinpoint that bus’s exact location.
With the Kajeet SmartBus with GPS, you can track and locate the current and historical location of every school bus in your fleet along their specific bus route. To learn more about the Kajeet SmartBus with GPS feature, check out the webpage here.
But wait, how does your transportation department know there is an issue with a school bus that requires another bus to be sent out?
Keep reading...we’ll share one way to help with bus driver to dispatch communication.
Push-to-Talk: Instantly Communicate from Dispatch to Bus Drivers
PTT is instant communication over radio or LTE through handsets. As radio systems phase out, LTE provides coverage school districts need to stay in constant communication.
With the push of a button, bus drivers can reach their Transportation Director or Supervisor and vice-versa. These safe, easy-to-use, handsets ensure bus drivers are not distracted at the task at hand – transporting students safely.
Transportation teams at Dispatch can send a mass message to all bus drivers instantly, or speak to their drivers individually. With a management software installed at Dispatch, Supervisors can easily see the locations of the handsets (and their buses), speak to their entire team at once, record messages, and more.
Looking to learn more about how PTT can help your school district? Contact us here and an education mobility specialist will be in touch with you.
The Connected Bus provides connections in more ways than one. PTT connects Dispatch to drivers when they are out on the road (or facility managers or anyone else in the school district!).
Camera Offload: Automatically Download Bus Camera Data
Cameras are another component of today’s school buses. Whether your school district has a stop-arm camera, one camera inside the bus, or multiple, if your camera DVR is not Wi-Fi-enabled, the video data is a hassle to collect.
School districts may have an employee whose sole job is to go out and physically collect DVR hard drives or SD cards from every single bus in their fleet. If your school bus fleet is large, imagine how much time is spent tracking down that data?
Kajeet SmartBus with Camera Offload is that connecting piece (whoops, there we go again with the connected word…), but it’s true! This solution provides schools a solution to automatically download DVR data from school buses to the school server once the bus arrives in the school’s lot.
Now you can use that employee to help with other, more critical, transportation issues, and be able to review camera data when you need it.
Another key part of connectivity is that instant alert, ensuring transportation departments are aware of what is happening on every single bus, which brings us to...
Intelligent Sensors: Receive Instant, Automatic Alerts from the School Bus
It is beyond difficult to know what is happening on every single bus in your fleet at all times, especially if your school bus fleet is large.
However, there are certain situations when operations needs to be aware of a situation on a particular school bus. And it can be difficult to rely on the school bus driver, who is currently handling that particular instance. So what happens?
Kajeet SmartBus with Intelligent Sensors provides transportation administrators real-time notifications of events taking place within their school bus fleet. A system of automated alerts triggered by sensors on the school bus keeps everyone looped in, even if they’re not on the bus.
Different Intelligent Sensors include:
- Silent Alarm
- Roof Hatch Opening
- Door Opening
- Smoke Alarm
- Anything else your school district needs to monitor on the school bus. This solution is flexible to meet transportation department’s needs!
Transportation professionals, take control of your fleet and gain insight into real-time situations. The features described in this blog post are just the beginning of the Kajeet Connected SmartBus, just wait and see.
Tag(s): Mobile Broadband , Technology Insight , Bus WiFi , SmartBus