How IoT and Mobility Enhance Traditional School Bus Tracking

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How IoT and Mobility Enhance Traditional School Bus Tracking

Here's a high level overview of an IoT-based system that tracks school buses' location and other data to help school officials and parents alike.

· IoT Zone ·
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IoT has extended its capabilities toward solving problems and 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 tracking systems installed, for instance, on a fleet of school buses. Here, we will go over an example project that reports a real-time location to the admin of a fleet system using the GPS and GSM technologies.

Enhancing School Bus Tracking Capabilities Through the Internet of Things

Supported by cloud services, IoT, and mobile apps, it is possible to establish a common point of data access by the school admin and 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 tracks students’ attendance on the bus, drop-off and pickup times, as well as locations. It can alert the driver and parents during certain occasions and give them real-time information. 

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

Now, in addition to retrieving real-time locations and related information, we are interested knowing whether a bus driver drives rashly, attempts dangerous turns by making sharp cuts, speeds or overtakes other vehicles, etc. This is when an On Board Diagnostics (OBD) system comes 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 police toward the direction of the bus. 

The Real-Time Bus Tracker Solution Can Be Accessed From a Networked Mobile Device

Pretty much the same way as it can be accessed using web browsers, the GPS system attached to each bus pushes information to a public cloud while the devices that have 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:

  1. Location data and other relevant information are captured by GPS and OBD sensors.
  2. A mobile data connection provides a local gateway to send information periodically collected by all the sensors on the bus.
  3. 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.
  4. The server then sends reports, location information, and alerts on movement and safety to the supervisor’s mobile phone.

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 to offer?

  • The system helps with real-time tracking of a bus online.
  • The route taken by a bus can be replayed.
  • Each bus is marked as a specific dot on a map, which can help with the knowledge of the bus position related to all bus stops.
  • There has been a special service provided by Tata Docomo that sends alerts to parents as to when the bus is going to reach a particular stop.
  • The tracking system can offer details of real-time and average speed.
  • A maximum speed can be set. 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. Manual scheduling or routing can yield errors, inviting fines from authorities and regulatory bodies. The RFID vehicle management system can help tackle such problems. Along with this, the authorities can keep a track of how efficiently are the buses running and if there are any instances of speeding or rash driving taking place.

Along With the RFID Tags, the System Can Track Kids!

Maintaining attendance of every child discretely is a tough job to uphold, but IoT-app development services for school buses can help maintain a track of attendance rapidly and effortlessly, pushing the database over a data connection. This is a system that can effectively reduce the worries that parents may have, as they will receive real-time notifications from the tracking system about when their ward is going to be dropped off.

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Published at DZone with permission of Cray Styris . See the original article here.

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