Why You Should Install GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking
published on January 08, 2013 by Sonia Mastros
Now is an especially good time to be asking yourself: Are my school district's buses as safe for students to ride as they can be?
If your district isn't using GPS vehicle fleet tracking, the answer to this is, unfortunately, probably “no.” While there has been some mild controversy in the media over the practice, the truth is, GPS tracking really doesn't have much to do with student tracking. It's all about the school buses, and making sure they get where they need to go, as safely as possible.
Let's take a look at why GPS vehicle fleet tracking is such an important new tool in school bus management!
What is GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking?
Chances are, you know more or less what the Global Positioning System is and how it works. You probably have had a GPS locator in your own car, at some point or another, or as part of your smartphone. GPS simply uses a network of satellites in orbit to bounce radio waves off receivers, so they can triangulate the receiver's position.
The end result is, any bus equipped with GPS vehicle fleet tracking can be accurately located on a map, in real time, at any point in its journey. What that means, in a very real sense, is that students can be looked after from when they leave their school. There's no more guesswork in hoping the buses are all running alright.
The Safety Benefits of GPS Vehicle Fleet Tracking
Obviously, having this sort of power to oversee the fleet makes it far easier to keep tabs on all the students that a school's bus system has to care for. For example, should a bus have a minor malfunction such as a flat tire, there will be an almost immediate alert when it stops unexpectedly. The driver and the transportation manager can quickly coordinate to get repairs done, or send a replacement vehicle to pick up students.
These safety features can also be integrated into the route optimization software itself. Areas in town which are known to be dangerous – such as gang or drug activity – can be marked as danger zones. Buses can avoid stopping there, or even avoid driving through these areas all together. Should a vehicle enter one of these zones, the GPS system will alert administrators immediately.
GPS tracking can even lead to better drivers! Since every bit of data about every ride is stored, it's easy to start building up profiles of drivers and their habits. Those with a tendency to speed, or to brake too quickly, can be shown their mistakes and encouraged to perform better. GPS gives you an “eye in the sky” that ensures every bus ride is safe and efficient.
Student ID Tracking Adds More Features
If you want to go further in ensuring that every student arrives at the right stop, a student tracking system may be the answer. With extremely inexpensive RFID technology embedded in a student's ID badge, they can be instantly recorded whenever they enter or exit a bus.
The system will know, for example, if a bus does not have all the students on it that it should, and alert the driver. Similarly, should a child attempt to get off at the wrong stop, the system can catch that too. Simply put, it makes it far less likely to lose a child, even through a simple mistake such as getting off at the wrong stop.
Either way, GPS vehicle fleet tracking is a safe, reliable, and cost-effective way of making your school's bus system safer. The vehicles will be under closer surveillance, and they'll be paired with optimized route planning that focuses on delivering students home, safely, efficiently and on time.
If you think GPS tracking sounds right for your district, contact us and we'll be happy to answer all your questions!