School bus tracking seems to be one of the current school safety trends among parents and school.
But what is it exactly?
Let’s divide the answer into below topics:
Generic Vehicle Tracking
School Bus Tracking
Generic Vehicle Tracking:
Let’s first understand a generic vehicle tracking solution. ‘Tracking’ here essentially refers to GPS tracking. Yes, the very same GPS that we have in our mobiles or the ones we use for navigation. There is a GPS device which is fit into the vehicle. The GPS device continuously receives GPS signals. After a fixed interval, the device sends this data to the service provider via a GSM sim-card. The sim is similar to our mobile sims, though it is referred to as a ‘vehicle-tracking-sim’. This data is then used by the software to provide geo-details like location, speed, distance, time, etc. which can be usually accessed via web.
School Bus Tracking:
When we refer to school bus tracking, the need for accuracy and reliability is further increased. As such, the device quality and timely service should have an increased focus to enhance the safety of our little friends :). Another difference is that the end-users of this solution are both parents as well as admins. Thus, the solution should be catering to both. The data received as mentioned above, can be put to a further use. For eg, as in smarterBus, there is a mobile APP on which parents can check the live tracking of the location of their child’s school bus. They can also receive APP-based notifications as to when the bus has left for pick-up, reached school, left for drop, etc. These notifications are triggered based on geo-fencing. When the bus leaves or enters a marked area defined on the map, the notification gets triggered.
School Bus Tracking can have its scope from just location tracking to driver behaviour analysis. RFID solution can also be added within vehicles wherein the card swipes can send alerts to parents regarding the actions of boarding/disembarking. There are limitless possibilities when we have data in our hands. It also comes with a responsibility of prudently handling it. It is necessary thus to provide only the required data and not overwhelm the end-user with complex features. That’s the intention here at smarterBus. Our focus is to provide parents with the most important information with an easy access. Thus, parents using our APP can have a one-tap access of the location of their children’s school bus. Features such as SMS alerts are unreliable and one cannot guarantee its accuracy. Such features which add to the complexity of the solution hence should not be encouraged.
Here is a wiki for an extended reading on vehicle tracking.