EDITIONS

How IoT and mobility enhance traditional School Bus tracking solution?

Mahi
16th Mar 2018
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The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is getting matured as time advances. IoT has extended its capabilities toward solving problems, which are frequently encountered by the companies. Also, the technology has started offering multiple solutions across various industry sectors. For example, while the insurance sector extensively uses ‘vehicle tracking apps’ based on IoT, the same could be put to effective use with the tracking systems installed, for instance, on a fleet of school buses. Here it reports a real-time location to the admin of the fleet system using the GPS and GSM technologies.

Enhancing school bus tracking capabilities through the Internet of Things

Now, we do not have a very sophisticated system that can help alert a driver who is distracted, debunked by another driver or surpassed the allowed top speed of the bus. Supported by Cloud Services, IoT and Mobility, it is possible to establish a common point of data access by the School admin and the parents. More than just being implementable, such a system is economical and accurate with its insights.

The on-road Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) has the following main parts –

- RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

-  OBD (On Board Diagnostics)

-  GPS (Global Positioning Systems)

Binding these technologies together, the bus tracking solution keeps on tracking students’ attendance on the bus, drop and pickup time along with locations. It can alert the driver and parents during certain occasions and gives them real-time information. In addition, routes can also be optimized with these solutions. The admin can adjust route utilization, and comply with the latest regulations like pre-tip imposition vehicle inspection, etc.

GPS data transmitted to a host can make a tracking solution while IoT empowers the tracking system into a lot more efficient, reliable, and automated analytical platform.

Now, in addition, to retrieve real-time locations and related information, we are interested knowing whether a bus driver drives rash, attempting dangerous turns by making sharp cuts, speeds over the limits or overtake other vehicles, etc. This is when an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) come into play.

They are connected to the dashboard of the bus, which, in addition to reporting the live location of a bus, helps with gathering other stats. Moreover, if any of these practices are observed, the fleet administrator can remotely shut down the engines of the bus, immobilizing the vehicle, and send a police toward the direction of the bus. Another advantage of an OBD is that it the mobile of the bus driver enters a lockdown mode as soon as the bus comes into motion.

The real-time bus tracker solution can be accessed from a mobile device which is connected to the network

Pretty much the same way as it can be accessed using web browsers or so on a computer! The GPS system attached to each bus pushes information to a public cloud while the devices that have an access to the cloud can track the real-time location and other data captured by the OBD.

So, a vehicle tracking system works as follows:-

-  Location data and other relevant information are captured by GPS and onboard OBD sensors.

-   A mobile data connection provides a local gateway to send information periodically collected by all the sensors on the bus.

-   The Gateway sends the information to a network where the speed, direction and other variables are collected and sent to an application server on the cloud.

-   The server then sends reports, location information and alerts on movement and safety to the supervisor’s mobile.

This system can be generalized further for corporate employees transport facilities or the public transport system of a city. So, what are the features that a fleet tracking system has got to offer?

-   The system helps with real-time tracking of a bus online.

-   The route taken by a bus can be replayed.

-   There is this Geo-fence technique which sends alerts as soon as a bus leaves a specific area.

-   Each bus is marked as a specific dot on a map which can help with the knowledge of the bus position related to all the bus stops.

-   There has been a special service provided by Tata Docomo which sends alerts to the parents as to when the bus is going to reach a particular stop.

-   The tracking system can help with the provision of real-time and average speed.

-   A maximum speed can be set and as soon as the speed is crossed, an SMS alert will be sent.

A school bus tracking system could be highly beneficial for school authorities

The software helps in automating most of the process, including routing and scheduling. So, school authorities can keep everything under control and they will need to take action only if things go wrong. This saves resources required for rescheduling and re-routing if things go wrong.

Apart from this, the system results in increased efficiency and savings of the driver as well as the authorities. The manual scheduling or routing can yield errors, inviting fines from authorities and regulatory bodies. The RFID vehicle management system can help tackle such problems. The system can indicate the number of miles covered along with the mileage of the vehicles and thus help with the payroll of the drivers. Along with this, the authorities can keep a track of how efficiently are the buses running and if there are any instances of over speeding or rash driving taking place.

Along with the RFID tags, the system can track missing kids!

It can use the database to track any mishap or a crash. Maintaining attendance of every child discretely is a tough job to uphold. An IoT-based solution for the school buses can help maintain a track of the attendance rapidly and effortlessly, pushing the database over a data connection. This is a system that can effectively reduce the worries that parents may hold as they are less likely to contact the school authorities in case of any urgency as they will receive real-time notifications from the tracking system about when their ward is going to be dropped or so.

Word Up

It has eventually created a solution to ease the tensions of the parents with regards to the safety of their children. It’s high time for the school authorities to use this system in their school bus fleets and thus, making parents feel ease. The tech is still in the evolution phase, but IoT can prove out to be the lifeline for the fleet management industry. So, an IoT-based tracking system is a lot more efficient than the traditional systems and upgrading these systems can be beneficial in the long run.

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