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ey and helping them better manage their resources. “Monitoring vehicle health can highlight repetitive issues so it can have a predictive value,” Barrington observed. “You can better manage service parts inven- tory or it could even point to what kind of technician expertise you need to have available in your shop.” The data allows fleet managers to evaluate what fea-


tures on their vehicles provide the most value. “When they are looking to replace older vehicles in the fleet, this can help when specifying new equipment,” he said. Barrington advised that school districts can also


utilize the current health emergency, and a connected fleet of school buses, to affect community response. “One thing the novel coronavirus crisis is showing us is the nation’s school buses are very much on the front lines of how a community responds,” he shared. “Connectivity of a fleet can mean having the flexibility to use your fleet to provide mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to facilitate remote learning. This is a powerful capability that is just now being realized.” The bridge between connectivity and safety soon


becomes apparent. “From a safety standpoint you may get realtime


information on how a vehicle is being operated, where it is, and who is onboard,” he continued. “Monitoring operations can be a controversial issue, but it is also a great way to safeguard the most critical aspect of safe operation, the driver.” Connected fleets ultimately drive accountability of


maintenance programs and staff, but Barrington said the vindication of monitoring is equally as important for a well-run operation. “Monitoring idle times as well as improving route ef-


ficiency are just a couple of things related to not only the expense of an operation but how environmentally friendly it is,” he added. And monitoring vehicle health has a direct impact


on the student passengers, and the faith parents put in the yellow school bus. “Improved connectivity really boils down to


improved communication and improved communi- cation is critical to safety,” Barrington said. “Improved communication with realtime location of a student for a parent is peace of mind. Reaction times for emer- gency services and detailed information related to an incident can improve preparedness.” ●


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