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Key Factors After analyzing this month’s reader survey responses,


it appears that cost is only one of the factors in the low adoption rate of 360-degree camera systems that are de- signed to remove blind spots. Instead, the industry has yet to reach the tipping point for demand of such systems, apparently due in part to a relative lack of competition and lack of understanding how the systems work. In comparison to the consumer technology market,


where thousands upon thousands of companies world- wide have made many types and sizes of products and solutions in recent decades, there are few companies that make the 360-degree camera systems for school buses. Additionally, few student transporters are saying, “I’ve got to buy one for my buses, too.” Overwhelming product acceptance in the industry


is probably at least a decade away. The goal of quickly shrinking the Danger Zone via widescale video and mi- crowave systems will likely remain elusive for now. But options are still readily available for early adopters.


Several Primary Approaches There are several basic child detection approaches


that have become available within the past few years: 360-degree cameras that give the driver a bird’s-eye view of the bus perimeter; and student detection sensors that sound an alarm for the bus driver when it detects movement within 10 feet of the bus. There are a small number of market leaders that STN


has identified, which include (in alphabetical order): • 24/7 Security Inc.’s 1080p and 360-degree solution with 720p and IP cameras.





Collins Bus has an optional Brigadier rear-view and 360-degree camera system on a Ford Transit chassis.


• Rosco Vision Systems Safe-T-Scope 360-degree Surround Camera System uses a standard LCD


backup monitor or a Rosco MOR-Vision mirror/ monitor. The system provides various views of the bus, using custom set triggers. The system can be triggered when the vehicle moves into reverse, has an open door, or activates the turn signals.


• Rostra Precision Control detects obstacles by using microwave sensing technology and a visual display. The system alerts drivers to objects that are up to 12 feet away, or in blind spots behind, alongside or at the front of the school bus.





Safe Fleet’s Intelligent Perimeter Safety Solutions, which monitor the entire area around a school bus. It uses motion detection sensors to actively alert the driver to possible hazards. The area is displayed on an on-board video monitor and the system triggers driver action via an audible alert.


• Seon inView 360 four-channel cameras that can be added to the Rosco Vision Systems Backup Monitor, a 360-degree camera.


• Thomas Built Buses partners with Mito Corporation and CUB Group to offer the Perimeter View 360 camera package (PV360).


• Transit Bus System Shield+ (a collaboration with Mobileye, which was purchased by Intel) can spot a collision course with a pedestrian, cyclist or ve- hicle, then notify the driver in time to stop the bus.


Other Companies Have Entered the Field Last summer, Thomas Built Buses debuted the proto-


type of its new pedestrian detection technology at the STN EXPO Reno. “Most accidents that involve a school bus actually


happen outside the bus, when children run into the road, step too close to the bus, or even kneel down to get something that has fallen under the bus,” said Leslie Kilgore, VP of engineering for Thomas Built Buses. “As


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