With adverse incidents such as bus accidents and child abduction on the rise, many government bodies are now making GPS tracker for school buses a mandatory requirement.
A GPS tracker is extremely helpful for school administration and parents to view the real-time location of a school bus at any given point of time, track trip progress and get an estimated time of its arrival at a bus stop.
School buses should be equipped with a GPS tracking system to deal with any kind of emergency.
During emergencies, a GPS device plays a significant role by automatically notifying the school authorities with the school bus location.
Let us first understand what a GPS tracker is and how it works.
Then we will look at the various factors that needs to be considered while selecting a GPS tracker for schools.
What is a GPS Tracker?
A GPS or Global Positioning System consists of 24 satellites in orbit above the earth and it receives signals from these satellites to pinpoint and track a device location.
GPS Trackers use multiple satellites to find the exact location of their device.
The more satellites the device can “see,” the more accurate it will be in pinpointing locations.
How GPS Tracker Works?
A GPS tracker can be used to locate people, animals, vehicles, or things almost instantly as long as they have a device on them.
You can get their real-time GPS locations through maps in any computer or on smartphone.
Apart from real-time information, GPS trackers can also provide you historical location information of the asset.
Therefore, anything you need to monitor can instantly be tracked down, and its path is followed using a GPS monitoring system.
How Does A GPS Tracker Work for School Buses?
Schools can use a GPS tracker to find the location of their entire school bus fleet within seconds.
A high-end GPS device is installed on the school bus. GPS devices are very simple to install on the school buses.
All the signals from the bus are routed to an integrated central server for real-time tracking and monitoring.
Information about the current location of a bus:
can be transmitted from the server via SMS alerts and emails, or
can be checked on the web or
can be checked using a mobile phone app. If you are a parent of a child that uses school transportation, you can keep a track of the time your child leaves school and arrives home.
Therefore, by using a GPS tracker, schools can provide safe and secure transportation to students at all the times and give complete peace of mind to their parents.
How To Choose a GPS Tracker for Schools?
There are plenty of different kinds of vehicle GPS tracking devices available in the market today.
But not all of them may be appropriate or right for a school or made of good quality.
The difference between good-quality and a low-quality GPS tracker is the way it transmits the data to the server and how and what type of data reaches to the end users.
So, how do schools choose the right GPS tracking system to fulfill their safe transportation requirement?
Factors to Consider While Selecting a GPS Tracker for Schools
There are a number of factors to keep in mind while choosing a GPS tracking device for school buses.
The choice of a device will differ according to a school’s requirement.
Need of the User: Do you need to track only one or more than one vehicle?
Do you need to track your entire school bus fleet?
Do you need to monitor the movements of students?
When you get answers to specific questions, you can identify the necessary features that a GPS tracker should have to meet your needs.
End-to-End System & Service: You need to make sure that the GPS tracker will provide a complete system to fulfill your needs. Big schools running large fleets of school buses needs to purchase a comprehensive GPS fleet management software.
It should provide end-to-end service including device, application, and connectivity.
Deployment Time: Make sure that the GPS tracking system is quick and seamless to deploy so as to help you to get started at the earliest.
Capability to Track via Web or Smartphone App: If you need to track the school bus from any smartphone or on the computer, then the GPS tracker must have the capability to access the location of the school bus anytime, anywhere.
Capability To Track People: An end-to-end GPS tracking system will not only track the location of vehicles but will also monitor the performance and behavior of school bus drivers.
Cost: There are a lot of GPS devices available in the market with similar features but some of them tend to be more expensive than others. You need to make sure that the cost justifies the benefits offered by the system.
Quality: Compromising on the quality of GPS device for a low cost is a bad idea because it puts the safety and security of school children on a stake through technical snags or poor functioning.
A low-quality device might also end up providing you irrelevant data that is of no use. Therefore, choose a device not just by its cost but also by the quality and features it offers.
SOS Button: The SOS button or the distress button is a critical feature requirement in a GPS tracker as it could save lives. The driver can press this button during emergencies to alert the school authorities of the bus current location and the directions.
Make sure you select a GPS tracker that has this emergency/panic button.
Smart Alerts & Notifications: A GPS device must have the capability to send and receive real-time alerts and notifications to the users. This feature is most useful in emergencies when a real-time alert can help in saving life & money.
Buy a GPS tracker that will send instant alerts in case the device exits a safe zone, moves beyond the scheduled time, changes location, or violates speed limits.
Offline Tracking: The GPS system must allow the school authorities to track the vehicle even when they are not online.
Mapping Quality: The quality of mapping is important as it allows you to zoom to street levels, and provide multiple views, such as satellite, bird’s eye/aerial, and street maps. Quality of mapping ensures accurate and up-to-date mapping.
Cellular Network: The data collected by a GPS tracker is transmitted to the server where smartphones and computers can access it. Most GPS trackers use mobile phones for data transmission.
While choosing a GPS tracker, it is important to know which cellular network the device will be utilizing.
Make sure to determine:
if there are any network coverage issues in the areas of users and
the time taken by the device (minutes, hours, or days) to report its location.
Make sure that the GPS tracker you choose provides multiple network coverage options.
Theft Security: A GPS device that provides real-time tracking is suitable to prevent theft of vehicles as it continuously updates authorities about the location of the bus. This ensures the safety of vehicles and protection from theft.
Powerful and Easy-to-Use Application: It is important that the GPS tracker is extremely easy to use and provides user-friendly features, design, and functionality.
Scalability/Upgrades: A good GPS tracking system must be scalable and allows for automatic upgrades.
The school must have access to scalable and future-proof services reducing the need to invest upfront.
Application Customization: Make sure that the GPS tracking system you choose is specifically designed for school buses and is customizable to meet your needs.
Reporting: The GPS tracking system should be able to generate custom reports to meet your specific requirements.
Support Services: Ensure the GPS tracker comes with 24/7 technical support and service.
There are a number of factors to consider while selecting a GPS tracking system for school buses.
Fleetroot GPS Vehicle Tracking System is a complete, end-to-end solution for schools.
It makes monitoring of school buses simple and effective, thereby providing safety and security to school children at all the times.