RENO, Nev. - As there are certainly at least a couple big unveils still under wraps at this writing, School Transportation News compiled a list of new products that will be seen on the STN EXPO Trade Show floor on Monday night during the Extravaganza event and during the full trade show on Tuesday. In all, 127 exhibitors will display their wares.
American Cooling Technology expands the options within their products with the EV-1 in-wall evaporator and electric AC systems for Hybrid and electric buses. With simple drop-in one-piece construction, the EV-1 eases installation of neatly fitting into the rear wall of a vehicle that generates 35,000-96,000 Btu/hr in either 12 or 24 Volt Motors. ACT has also partnered with Emerson Climate Technologies in the application of electric scroll compressor technology on many bus applications. Check out product at STN EXPO booth 132.
AMF-Bruns of America has maximized vehicle space with its latest wheelchair securement system the Hide-A-Way. With retractors fully-integrated into the floor, the Hide-A-Away conserves floor space, reduces complications being foot-activated, uses self-locking and –tension retraction, has no obstructions and accommodates both wheelchair and non-wheelchair passengers. The Hide-A-Way meets all listed safety requirements: ISO 10542; SAE J2249; FMVSS 209,302,210,222; CMVSS 209; CSA Z605; AS 2596; ADA. See STN EXPO booth 537 for more.
Bergstrom’s latest Cool Zone system delivers an efficient and reliable service as an HVAC solution. To name a few, key features of the Cool Zone system include: simple installation and maintenance with mounting brackets and filters that are easily serviceable, electronic freeze protection to safeguard coils and reduce case sweating, powder-coated galvanized steel construction located on the midship unit to prevent rust and two adjustable double and ball louvers to optimize air flow for passengers. A recent testing on a Blue Bird bus from Florida to Texas School Bus Specifications showcased that Cool Zone cooled the bus down 20 percent faster than it should have. The Cool Zone is where you want to be. Find the cool zone at STN EXPO Booth 151.
In addition to unveiling the new all-electric Type D All American school bus with partners Adomani and EDI and a new Type A all-electric Micro Bird, Blue Bird also rolls out the Mircro Bird G5 with current enhancements on safety and comfort. The G5’s double-leaf wheel chair doors heightens passenger safety by protecting both sides of the lift for special needs children with superior weather seal and door strength. The G5 has also integrated child seats accompanied with 3 point lap and shoulder seat belts and optimized visibility of its loading zone constructed by a fully-glassed entrance door and “more-to-view” window. Able to seat 25-30 children depending the option, the Micro Bird G5 secures the principle of safety with every route to and fro from school to home. Wheel it on over to STN EXPO Booth 521.
With thorough research, testing, and development, Bus Air releases its latest shroud systems: the Plastic A/C Shrouds. Plastic A/C shrouds features a modernized custom appearance that increases and optimizes air flow and thermal distribution to cool the entire cabin for the comfort of all passengers, making it the ideal climate control within a school bus. See for yourself at STN EXPO Booth 445.
The new Brake Blocker guards against drivers or mechanics bumping against and accidentally releasing the parking brake on air-brake buses. The company said the new product protect students, staff and the public from incidents and crashes as well as reduces liability costs. Check it out at STN EXPO Booth 748.
Child Check-Mate introduces two products that build upon earlier models and offer new features and versatility while remaining compatible with older systems. The EP1+ comes with additional connection options so the doors, ignition accessory positions, and other vehicle systems and indicators may be monitored. The EP2+ has over 16 times the storage capacity of the EP2, faster processing time, and increased memory; it allows more complicated processes and was designed to work well with third-party systems, such as GPS and video monitors. Find out more about these systems at booth 721.
At booth 313, Collins Bus displayed its new low-floor Type-A school bus. Dubbed by the company "the most accessible mode of school bus transportation," the Collins Bus Low-Floor features an integrated 1:6 slope ramp and requires neither lifts nor multiple step entrances. This safe and easy option for young or special needs students can carry 15 passengers in all, including up to three wheelchairs.
Edulog and IC Bus announced a strategic partnership this week to increase OnCommand Connection offerings to the school bus market. The companies announced they are integrating key software and hardware through OnCommand Connection to give school districts visibility into vehicle health with premium fleet manager and provide then with end-to-end information management solutions and services to keep buses running safely, reliably, and on-time. Solutions include pre- and post-trip inspection reporting, advanced remote diagnostics, route-based navigation, parent portal and student ridership, and driver gamification. The news comes a little over three months after IC Bus parent company Navistar released its OnCommand Connection Telematics for Class 6-8 vehicles and the open-architecture and cloud-based OnCommand Connection Marketplace for complete telematics solutions and a broad range of related driver support tools.
GPSi partners with TomTom to offer a connected mobility solution for school buses. Their new product is called the TomTom bridge device and it covers the areas of navigation with turn-by-turn voice directions, electronic trip logging, vehicle inspection, fuel usage, route tracking, driver assignments, and more. Business Unit Manager Sebastien Ruffino explained the goal of the BRIDGE is to “help increase safety and provide drivers with more efficiency and convenience.” Find out more at EXPO booth 702.
The new Helium Seat by HSM Transportation Solutions will soon be available in several Collins buses. “The industry’s lightest transit seat,” the Helium Seat is ideal for trips short or long. Reclining backs, molded armrests, two- or three-point seat belts, and many upholstery finishes are just some of the things you can choose to customize this seat for your transportation needs. Springs and cushions for comfort are added into every seat, and the backs feature lumbar support and a thin frame for added leg room in the bus. Check these out at booth 403.
Intermotive at booth 243 presents TransitCheck, a streamlined tablet-based system for bus inspection. TransitCheck can be used for pre- and post-trip checks as well as routine weekly or monthly maintenance. The school or agency requesting the inspection can customize what they want checked. Administrators can receive instant notice of items that did not pass inspection and can request photos of the same. Information is also recorded of the number of steps completed and how long the inspection took; afterwards an e-signature and picture of the inspector can be required. The reports can be saved on the tablet being used and also in the cloud. TransitCheck works with tablets with certain minimum specifications.
The DispatchPlus app from pdvWireless allows users to convert their existing tablets into a push-to-talk device. The company said the built-in receiver and speaker allow the operator to hold down one button to make a call. Dispatch Plus also requires no additional equipment or additional installation fees. Check out a demo at STN EXPO Booth 107.
REI debuts its new HD5 Series DVRs. The company said this state-of-the art surveillance technology maximizes record time on school buses with triple streaming technology, which means each video stream can be configured with different resolution, frame rate, bitrate and codec type. Triple streams give much more flexibility to users by allowing different data streams to be sent simultaneously, and each for independent purposes. REI said this saves time and money with easy wireless upgrades, accommodates current equipment by being backwards compatible and increases flexibility and scalability. The HD5 Series can be viewed at STN EXPO Booth 342.
SafeGuard by IMMI displays its new SuperSTAR seat that is designed and tested for 25- to 90-pound preschool students. The company says is the only restraint engineered with the added safety of car-seat technology, while providing student transporters with more versatility. The central adjust allows for an easier, one-pull tightening of the restraint system and the seat cover is new and easier to clean. It includes longer cam wrap attaches around any school bus seat and offers flatter base contours to provide more comfort. The company said three crash-tested SuperSTARs fit on a standard 39-inch FMVSS school bus seat and an optional chest strap is available. Meanwhile, SafeGuard also is unveiling the new BTI Seat used standard in IC Bus models. The seats are 100-percent upgradeable to seat belts and are also promised to last the life of each school bus they are installed in. Learn more at SafeGuard Booth 203.
The buzz at the Safety Vision STN EXPO Booth 637 centers on the new Safety Vision 360 fisheye IP dome camera with integrated microphone. The company said it provides a full panoramic, 1080p image and in doing so captures all school bus action via a single camera channel. The wide 2048-by-2048 pixel image, which Safety Vision said provides more coverage with fewer cameras at 2K, is then “dewarped” in SafetyView PRO viewing software. Users can pan and scan the image, as well as zoom in for detail at the click of a mouse.
Seon and Safe Fleet shows the new TH Series high-definition video surveillance systems at STN EXPO Booth 603. Announced at the end of May, the TH Series is a hybrid system of interior dome and external wedge cameras with DVRs that Seon said is specifically designed for fleets that want multiple high-definition views inside and outside the vehicle with the flexibility to extend the life of existing standard definition cameras. The TH6, TH4 and TH4C high-definition dome cameras that offer any combination of standard resolution analog or high-definition video for a total of four or six video and audio channels, and the DVRs record at up to 30 FPS simultaneously with up to 2TB of storage. The system is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.
While its existence is known industrywide, STN EXPO Trade Show attendees can count themselves among the chosen few who lay their eyes and hands on the new DD8 medium-duty engine for Thomas Built Buses. Expected to be available for the rear-engine HDX late next year, the 7.7L in-line 6-cylinder engine boasts 260 to 350 hp and a torque range of 600 to 1,050 pounds per foot. It will also feature the Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service. The DD8 along with the DD5 are on display at STN EXPO Booth 121.
Titan Bus displayed its newly launched Type A that offers standard 5/8-inch plywood floors, tinted glass, LED lighting, one-piece flooring and multi-plex electrical system. The dual-rear wheel model provides a 92-inch-wide interior with 14-inch aisles to accommodate 39-inch seats as well as a 30-inch wide entrance door to ease loading and unloading. The single-rear wheel model offers three-two seating configurations for a 20-passenger capacity in a four-window section body.
Transfinder demonstrated its new Routefinder Go app that allows student transporters mobile access to routing, vehicle and student data. The company said data is viewable in a simple grid pattern or in a map and Go also allows student transporters to view real-time attendance, view substitute vehicles, drivers or bus aides on-demand, update trips based on actual attendance and time, and remotely access key information for day-to-day operations or emergency situations.
Tyler Technologies is demonstrating its new Traversa Ride 360 app that allows schools districts to provide secure bus information to parents. The data includes the latest routing information for their children including the bus stop, route, and bus number. Tyler said the app on display at STN EXPO Booth 503 also utilizes real-time GPS data to show parents and guardians where their student’s school bus is, and what time it is expected to be at their bus stop. Traversa Ride 360 is provided at no additional cost to either the district or the parent.
A new student tracking solution is available at STN EXPO Booth 109. Ubica Bus is showing its fully integrated and end-to-end attendance tracking solution that includes proprietary hardware, custom student RFID cards and a “robust” software suite. The company said its RFID reader integrates with the UbicaBus location messaging unit to share one data channel and transmit data in real-time as well create custom reports on historical data to provide school districts with options to consolidate routes and reduce costs. Ubica Bus also said its smart card readers work with nearly all card types.
Wurth Electronics says is new REDline Power Boxes presents an entirely new approach to enabling power distribution, signal transmission and function management in commercial vehicles. The result is high economic efficiency, with the central feature being the standardization of the housing. At the same time, the company added, the circuit board can be configured to the customer’s exact individual specifications. The REDline Power Box Medium is a compact solution for sub distribution circuits and control systems and the REDline Power Box Hybrid combines circuit-board technology with copper bus bars for high currents. Wurth Electronics said both promise advantages “considerably superior” to the solutions currently on the market. Learn more at STN EXPO Booth 615.
The Zonar Count app does exactly as its name suggests; it counts students on and off the school bus as well as tracks average travel time, average passenger trip length and operating costs per passenger trip. The company announced the app last month its tablets and will demo it at STN EXPO Booth 215. Zonar added that the Count app shows exact time and locations of student boarding and departure when paired with Zonar Z Pass, an RFID reader and Zonar RFID cards. Drivers securely transmit the data via the tablet touch screen to allow fleet managers immediate access via Zonar Ground Traffic Control. The tablet screen goes dark when the bus is in operation.
Editor's note: Claudia Newton and Nathan Tuvalu contributed to this round up.