Last month the NAPT Trade Show in Memphis, Tenn., attendees were presented with additional school bus GPS options from vendor Quantum XXI, a 20-year veteran of the market but new to the student transportation industry.
Led by CEO Richard Gallagher, formerly the founder, president and CEO of Synovia Inc. (Editor's note — The company's new name is Synovia Solutions after a September merger with Everyday Solutions), Quantum XXI introduced the GOLDbus Driver, a Windows-based tablet that uses customizable software from partner Ecomonix to provide two-way data transmission from transportation operation centers to the bus, and vice versa. Gallagher told School Transportaiton News that software is currently being developed for the Android, and in the future Quantum XXI could develop for the iPad.
The tablet operates using Bluetooth technology to access engine diagnostics from the Electronic Control Module (ECM) and via an antennae mounted on the bus dashboard. The company says this can reduce installation costs and hardware lasts longer, as there is not need to replace parts to accommodate software upgrades.
GOLDBus provides visual and audio turn-by-turn navigation system, reminds drivers to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections and tracks the data, integrates routes with per-stop student accountability, and tracks and reports driver time and attendance. It also updates routes in real time and reports of engine diagnostics as well as bus events like the deployment of the stop arm, flashers of other tap points.
Meanwhile, GOLDBus Hub is the central control for student transportation and integrated fleet management back at the transportation department. It offers live, two-way communication and visibility to all the buses and drivers in the field and route management through updates or edits to routes and fencing. Quantum XXI says GOLDBus hub integrates with any existing routing software that utilizes a "legitimate" longitude and latitude map, and it provides real-time, batch and customizable alert-based reporting on driver performance and engine diagnostics.
GOLDBus Hub also offers user and role-based security access levels that limit data access to just those who need it as well as unlimited prepared reports and a custom report designer tool that Gallagher said can expand provides, for example, more than just the number of idle hours per bus but also associated fuel costs and social health impacts for children with asthma.
GOLDBus Hub also integrates with other systems such as payroll, routing and reporting for seamless bi-directional data transfer.