Intelligent School Buses Set to Hit City Roads in Thiruvananthapuram

How often have you let a foul mood spoil the day because your child missed the school bus in the morning? And if it has never happened to you, how often have you said a quiet prayer to yourself that your child doesn’t doze off inside the school bus and get him/herself locked up?

There is not much room for speculations about the benefits of having intelligent school buses around that are equipped to avoid most, if not all, of such casualties. From SMS alerts in your phone when the school bus reaches two stops before your child’s to the facility to track the speed at which your child’s bus is steering through the city traffic, smart vehicles are soon to take a weight off the minds of parents and school authorities.

The iTAC systems, which is foraying into the solution-starved field in a big way, is offering a GPS-backed technology to ensure safe transportation in vehicles operated by the schools in the city.

An off-shot of the Australian company Ideas and Innovations Squared Technologies (ii2), iTAC is currently operating from its office in Karamana. The venture is spearheaded by Rohit Raveendranath, an alumni of the College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram. He left his cushy IT job to innovate on the strength of his mechanical engineering degree that gained an edge from its liaison with information technology.

“The benefits are manifold, including safety, savings, security and convenience,” says Rohit.

“The system uses satellite, Internet and cellular network and an array of smart sensors to capture and relay a variety of reports to school authorities and parents. The delay in pick-up or drop due to heavy traffic or breakdown and the location of the bus are given in real time. Advanced options like identity checks for students and guardians can also be made available,” he says. It tracks over-speeding, rash driving and harsh braking.

Rohit adds that the RFID cards given to students can be further put to use to ensure that the child is inside the school premises during working hours. It also enables tracking of fuel pilferage and efficient driving, thus ensuring savings in fuel and other overhead costs to authorities.

Beginning with Primus School, Bangalore, in 2011, iTAC has seen an exponential growth from 1,000 students in two schools to 12,000 students in 11 schools in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. “We have worked out the cost factor in such a way that the schools do not have to bear the expenditure of owning the devises. Instead, we charge a nominal monthly fees from parents,” Rohit says.

“The technology was always there. The difference is in how we use it for optimum results. When you install iTAC, you get a smart vehicle that does not want to be driven in a reckless manner,” he sums up.

News Sourced from “The New Indian Express

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