Synovia Solutions said it is offering a "Try-N-Buy" program to give potential school bus customers a free trial of the company's real-time GPS solutions specifically for service and support vehicles.
While the trial program is specifically designed for most light-duty cars and trucks manufactured since 2007, which can be a part of a school district's so-called "white fleet," a company representative told STN that it is also available in certain situations for customers interested in real-time GPS for school buses. This, said Bill Westerman, vice president of sales and marketing, can be used "to evaluate ease of use and capabilities in the software instead of doing a pilot on a school bus, which takes more time and effort on both sides."
Synovia officials said the company's GPS solution can save money by increasing the accuracy and efficiency of capturing driver time and attendance as well as vehicle idling time, speeding, location and route inefficiency. It also captures data to reduce excessive braking and acceleration. The company added that its GPS also increases security for drivers and riders with its tracking features, and helps to quickly resolve claims and complaints, while also completing more service calls. The solution offers on-demand reports, scheduled reports and configurable alerts to provide decision support to manage by exception.
To participate in the trial, users are given a self-contained GPS tracking device that can be plugged directly into the OBD II port. Once plugged in, the user can launch Synovia's GPS-driven fleet tracking and management solution, called Silverlining. The trial period, which validates functionality and ease-of use before purchase, is typically completed in one week.
Last month at the NAPT Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich., Synovia announced a partnership with Blue Bird to offer the Blue Bird Connect GPS and fleet management technology as a pre-wired option direct from the factory rather than as an aftermarket accessory. Blue Bird Connect will be pre-wired on all Type C and Type D Blue Bird buses starting in February 2014, and customers can elect to turn on the GPS functionality immediately or later in the vehicle's life cycle.
Blue Bird said there will be no additional cost of the pre-wiring, and customers will work with Synovia directly on monthly cellular data charges.