Before the pandemic hit the world, school buses were a happy place for children. However, as the infection continues to grow unabated, concerns are being raised about public school transportation systems.
One question that is bothering the parents is if children will ever be able to ride safely in a school bus in the post-COVID-19 world? Well, the answer is yes. Using the latest technology, a safe commute is very much possible.
We will tell you how IoT can ensure the safety of students aboard a school bus
1.RFID tags can automate attendance
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is essential for keeping the school management and the parents in the loop about the movement of the kids. RFID tags can be doubled up as attendance systems.
Whenever the student enters the bus, the sensors at the door recognize the tag and registers their presence. This takes away the need for a fingerprint scanner or the signing of sheets on buses.
The tags can also be used to monitor the students when they are not on the buses and can help in ensuring that they are at a safe distance from their peers. The tags will send an alert whenever the safe distance is breached and an elder can be sent to supervise.
This is especially useful when the kids are on the bus, where there are chances that they might forget the distance and gather together in a group.
This can also help the parents and the management know the group of friends that the students hang out with. Therefore, in case one of them falls ill, his/her friends can be isolated easily.
In case there are indications that the child is in the surroundings of someone unwell, the RFID tags send immediate alerts to both parents as well as teachers, showing the exact location.
2. Helps to plan routes better to avoid containment zones; ensure social distancing
With the pandemic not leaving us anytime soon, we must minimize the time students spend outside the safety net of schools and homes. This is where systematic route planning comes into play.
However, managing routes was a daunting task, even in non-COVID times. It requires meticulous planning and coordination to avoid traffic while ensuring that there is no delay.
This is where the route management software comes into play. Effective route planning not only helps in saving time but also ensures that maximum trips can be made with minimum kids on board the bus.
The management can plan routes such that kids of an area are picked up together and are dropped to the school, instead of picking more students from the adjoining areas.
3.GPS tracker can come in handy to monitor movements
A GPS school bus tracking system logs the activity of each school bus. The tracker can help the management, as well as the parents, keep a tab on each movement of the bus and the routes taken, thereby ensuring that the fleet is on the right track.
The tracking device also helps the drivers avoid heavy congestion roads, better route planning, and take the bus to its destination in the fastest time possible. The database from the application can also be used to locate the fleet in case of a mishap or if the vehicle goes missing.
Using a GPS tracker, the management can avoid containment zones, thereby ensuring that the child’s health is not at risk.
4.Wearables to have a greater understanding of the health parameters
Wearable patches are the new thing that tells you the health parameters of anybody at a glance. The patches can monitor parameters like heart rate, ECG, temperature, respiration rate, and blood oxygen level, in real-time.
In addition to this, the tracker can also map steps and body posture including fall detection/severity, lack of sleep, and failure of maintaining optimum distance.
When the student comes for the bus ride, the driver can look at the data from the wearable patch and identify if the child can pose risk to others.
Technologically advanced tools can identify a rise in skin temperature or an increase in his resting heart rate even before the students start feeling the symptoms.
The wearable can be linked to a database that both parents and school can access, thus keeping both the parties in the loop and enabling continuous yet remote monitoring.
In case the child starts to fall ill during the commute, an SMS or an alert can be given to the parents.
Watches, patches, sensors integrated with clothes are some of the most popular kinds of wearables.
To alleviate any privacy concerns, the system features built-in safeguards, and no personal information is stored for more than stipulated time. All data collected is controlled and kept with the concerned school authorities only.
5. Technologically advanced fleet will improve vehicle safety
With better infrastructure, you can be assured about the vehicle’s safety. An automatic door sensor can help the students avoid direct contact with the road, seat belts ensure that the students are seated in their seats and not moving around.
The integrated video cameras will also help you monitor the students as well as the driver while they are on the way.
Many systems will need to organize differently as schools resume functioning. This can be a challenging task, considering the financial costs involved. However, with safety being the prime focus, consider this as an investment.
A school bus management software can be a good choice as it is not only equipped with most of the above-mentioned applications but will also not burn a hole in your pocket.
So, can you ensure a safe trip to the little kids who will hop on the buses as the lockdown is relaxed and schools are reopened?