The Connected School Bus — Where Video Becomes Safety

Around 25 million students in the US hop on a school bus each weekday. Thanks to its design and the regulations around it, this vehicle is one of the safest on the road. It provides 70 times more safe arrivals at school, compared to a personal car¹.

Even so, injuries occur on a daily basis and there is still an average of 128 school transportation-related fatalities annually². This is an unacceptable figure — one fatality is one too many.

Parents expect more of their school districts. They want to know exactly where their children are at any moment, and the security of knowing any unexpected incident will be handled efficiently and expediently with the tools and resources that ensure the greatest safety and risk mitigation. 

How do we do this? How can school bus fleet operators provide an effective service, while creating a safe environment for everyone?

The Connected Bus

The Connected School Bus is cloud-connected through Wi-Fi or Cellular. This connectivity provides a school district with back-office insight for improved student safety and route operations. 

Having a Connected Bus enables you to:

• Real-time track any bus in your fleet from anywhere.

• Monitor onboard cameras to stream live video.

• Deliver detailed route changes via a mobile device.

• Notify parents when their children will arrive at their destination.

• Access student ridership data to respond to incoming calls with accuracy.

• Turn your school bus into an internet-connected mobile classroom.

The Four Pillars of School Bus Connectivity

Transportation Departments can opt for the services they need now and add on as their needs evolve. A fully connected bus provides value in three main areas: route safety, efficiency, and parent communication:

1 Live Tracking / Parent Notifications

Increase student safety by knowing real-time location of buses. Routing integration via live GPS and a parent-friendly app keeps track of where students are during commutes to and from school.

2 Real Time Video 

Respond to emergencies and violations in real-time. A secure livestream video feed can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, by the relevant authorities, to monitor ongoing onboard situations.

3 Routing & Navigation

Plan, manage, and maintain routes and schedules to get students to and from school on time. Guide new drivers with turn-by-turn directions to ensure they follow planned routes, adhere to time schedules and reduce miles travelled. 

4 Vehicle Inspection

Streamline vehicle inspections and maintenance. Track issues as they are reported, repaired, and solved and increase vehicle uptime. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine what video is worth.

Clear, secure, and reliable video evidence is paramount in creating a safer environment inside the school bus. And the video systems that are part of the Connected School Bus provide a three-stage security surveillance strategy. They…

• help prevent.

• help respond.

• help account for.

The mere presence of a camera system inside the bus psychologically influences³  pro-social behavior, helping to prevent negative activities that could result in injury. 

Real-time, live-streaming video can be enabled through a Connected Bus with cellular connectivity. Access to this data helps managers respond to emergency situations with more insight, accuracy, and speed.

Video displays can also help bus drivers reduce blind spots inside and outside the bus.

This cloud-connected platform makes it simple and easy to acquire video evidence by wirelessly connecting to buses when they are within Wi-Fi coverage or in real-time if the bus is connected through a cellular network.

Safe Fleet Quality and Capability

Safe Fleet is the one provider that can enable the entire Connected Bus solution. This one platform future-proofs a school district by allowing the addition of solutions as budget and needs dictate. A school district is also able to maximize on previous investments through backwards compatibility to existing Seon and Safe Fleet cameras and recorders.

Safe Fleet designs, manufactures, installs, and supports more safety products on school buses that any other provider in the industry. And our focus on integrating those products using  artificial intelligence and advanced analytics means we’re uniquely qualified to help you protect students inside and outside the bus.

By making school bus fleets smarter, we make students safer.

 Lori Jetha is vice president, marketing, for Safe Fleet.
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