Top Tech for Student Bus Transportation
published on June 05, 2018 by Sonia MastrosWe're living in an age of nonstop technological progress and innovation in all areas of life, and that includes student bus transportation. New school bus technologies are arriving every year, and while not all will become widely adopted, each offers new opportunities for districts to improve student safety or energy efficiency, or simply cut costs.
It's hard to say with any certainty which new advances will become standardized on school buses, but these are some of the ones we find most interesting.
Coming Soon: Four Major Innovations in School Bus Transportation
1. Onboard Tablets
This is something any district could add to their bus fleet right now, if they wanted. Already standard in most commercial vehicles, like large trucks, in-cab tablets can take many burdens off of drivers. The large screens are better for navigation than smartphones or dedicated GPS units, and it can be extremely useful for other functions like gathering information and filling out necessary paperwork.
2. Ambient Sensing Nodes
Want to basically eliminate the possibility of a child being left behind on a bus? New ambient sensing node technology puts a passive sensor on the bus which can detect any movement or air disturbance. It can even detect a sleeping child, or one underneath an object like a blanket. These are just arriving on the market, and assuming they perform as well as advertised, we expect to see them rapidly gain adoption on buses.
3. Electric School Buses
In a recent blog, we mentioned that electric buses weren't a practical student bus transportation option today, but that doesn't mean they'll never be useful. Currently, electric buses have a lot of hurdles to overcome in terms of horsepower and torque, miles per battery charge and overall weight, but the technology is getting better every year.
In particular, electric buses would avoid one of the big problems with alt-fuels in buses: availability. Options like propane require the school to find a good source of propane. But electricity? That's everywhere.
4. Predictive Maintenance Systems
Knowing when a bus needs servicing can be a challenge, particularly for schools which have tight maintenance budgets. Fortunately, monitoring technology is getting better every year - and like onboard tablets, it's being pioneered by other commercial interests. Many Class 8 trucks already have "smart" systems onboard which can alert operators before maintenance problems happen. It's only a matter of time before that technology makes its way onto school buses.
Get a Head Start on the Future With BusBoss
With a combination of BusBoss route-planning software and GPS tracking, you can get many of the benefits of a predictive analysis system today! You can also check out our 3 Key Reasons to Implement Bus Routing Software This Summer!