line of telematics. He described OnCommand Connection as a more comprehensive solu- tion that provides direct access to the vehicle, as well as its “health.” That provides a set of SAE fault codes that allow technicians to hone in on an issue—before it leads to a vehicle breakdown. OnCommand allows an efficient walk-

around inspection of the vehicle. It keeps a digital record of details, records defects, and quickly notes vehicles that are in need of maintenance. All available information may be combined to provide a more comprehen- sive vehicle health report, which ultimately helps plan repairs and improve uptime. OnCommand released its electronic Driver

Vehicle Inspection Report (eDVIR) app in the fall, to digitally capture and share pre-trip and post-trip inspections for faster repairs. The Android-based app covers all U.S. Department of Transportation inspection points and then some, permits remote retrieval of inspection details and notifies drivers when an identified defect has been repaired. The app can also be used with OnCom- mand Connection Advanced Remote Diagnostics that is compatible with all school bus makes and models to provide real-time bus location data, generate bus health reports

26 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2019

and deliver an action plan to address one or more specific fault codes.

Keeping Pace with Other Industries Counterparts to pupil transportation man- agers in other industries are very aggressive in their connected vehicles and assets. Overall, they have high expectations of dividends from the cost avoidance that unplanned mainte- nance and downtime brings. Sectors such as rail, public transit, trucking and commercial ocean shipping, are progressing well with remote monitoring platforms. Digi International, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, for example, provides wireless monitoring systems for many distributed assets, including railroad fleets and public transit buses. At Caterpillar, the company offers its Cat Connect technology for con- struction equipment, which aids performance monitoring and troubleshooting, and helps reduce machine and engine downtime. Automobiles and car fleets are embrac- ing the technology, and slowly, but surely, realizing the dividends. According to San Francisco-based Voyomotive, which spe- cializes in connected car platforms, there are significant cost and safety benefits in diag- nosing and addressing vehicle malfunctions

Cheasapeake City Public Schools in Virginia is among a growing number of districts nationwide that is using remote diagnostics to proactively address vehicle issues, to reduce on-road breakdowns.

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