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New Acquisitions & New Technology Student transporters will


likely see more of this technol- ogy as they replace their aging fleets, and the return-on-in- vestment (ROI) of such replacement becomes clearer. Seattle-based Zonar is


aggressively pursuing the connected vehicle market. The company is part of Thom- as Built Bus’ next-generation connected bus, which the manufacturer said isn’t just about enhanced serviceabili- ty, but also mechanical safety and efficiency. On the opposite coast,


Chesapeake Public Schools operates 549 school buses in its geographically-dispersed service area in southeastern Virginia, which is the largest fleet of school buses in the Commonwealth. The fleet includes Thomas Built buses that have Zonar remote moni- toring technology.


“We needed some sort of


telematics system to track the time and attendance of our drivers,” said David Benson, director of pupil transportation for Chesapeake Public Schools. Benson explained that after


installing Zonar’s product, the district realized that the benefits are greater than antic- ipated. “Real-time GPS data is key to our routing,” he added. “Pre-trip and post-trip inspec- tion monitoring ensures we are running an efficient fleet, and the diagnostic tool helps us resolve maintenance issues before they become bigger problems. We are optimistic that the telematics in our fleet will significantly reduce our downtime and help us lower our total cost of ownership.” Last year, Zonar and Cum- mins announced they are providing joint customers with enhanced diagnostics, to limit vehicle downtime. Cum- mins Connected Diagnostics


wirelessly transmits engine data via Zonar’s V3 telematics control unit, to continuously monitor and diagnose engine fault codes. Cummins Connected Ad-


visor then prioritizes engine fault codes, translates them with expert recommendations from Cummins, and shares the information in real time with the fleet managers. Navistar’s IC Bus line is also


at full throttle for offering ad- ditional technology to monitor performance and provide diagnostics. The advanced platform assists with planned maintenance and provides drivers and technicians with error codes in real-time. The OnCommand Link is standard on all new bus purchases, while its OnCommand Con- nection is a premium add-on. Sean Slyman, director of


connected services for Navistar bus solutions, explained that OnCommand Link is a base-


www.stnonline.com 25


Bus drivers are getting in on the fun of assisting with maintenance issues, by using technology that better tracks pre-trip and post-trip inspections, such as with the OnCommand Connection electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Report app.


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