At STS, student safety lies at the heart of everything we do and built around this ethos, is STS’s Smart Bus. Geared with state-of-the-art technologies, STS’s Smart Buses house some truly unique functions designed to keep students safe at all times. More than 3,100 Smart Buses operate within the UAE.
Let’s get on board to understand how its features work.
STS’s Smart Buses are all equipped with CCTV surveillance systems that consist of a seven-camera set up. Four external cameras are placed on the bus’s exteriors to view its immediate surroundings. Three internal cameras cover the bus door, front and last rows of the bus. This surveillance system ensures video coverage of all parts of the bus.
The feed from all seven cameras can be viewed in real time, on the driver’s screen and in the Operations Control Centre (OCC). The video footage is backed up and stored in a Mobile Digital Video Recorder (MDVR) for up to ninety days.
These front facing cameras are a recent addition to the Smart Bus. As part of the bus’s Advanced Driver Assistance Safety system (ADAS) aides and warns drivers on the road by enabling a visual safety net around the bus, reducing the risk of collisions.
The driver’s dashboard hosts numerous controls and levers but the main feature here is the LED screen that displays feed from the CCTV surveillance system in real time. Of the seven internal and external cameras, the screen shows videos of four cameras at a time, which the driver can manually select. Accompanying the screen is a radio walkie that lets the driver establish direct contact with the OCC team.
In case of an emergency, such as a road accident or a flat tire, the driver can sound the Alert Button on the driver’s dashboard, which will register an immediate alert with the OCC, enabling the them to find the best way to assist the driver.
Global Positioning Systems on all our Smart Buses is the key element that allows real time tracking of STS’s fleet. This information is programmable and is constantly recorded in the MDVR. In addition to contributing to student safety, the GPS tracking assists the OCC team in developing route plans and optimising journey times for buses.
DRIVER FATIGUE CAMERA
One of the Smart Buses many unique features, is the fatigue detection system. It consists of a driver-facing camera, mounted on the driver’s dashboard with a full view of his face and eyes.
The camera utilizes pupil identification technology to analyze the driver’s blink rate. It picks up other fatigue indicating behavior such as yawning and head drooping. Behaviour such as mobile usage and oral intake also trigger warnings. The system maintains a video record for each alert, for post incident analysis and evaluation.
Installed near the driver’s seat in all our Smart Buses, is an RFID scanner. Designated students of each bus are issued RFID cards, which are scanned when they get on and off the bus, enabling the OCC team to track student movement.
This encrypted data is more reliable and secure than traditional barcode scanners and can be continuously monitored in real time by the OCC. Parents can monitor bus arrival and departure timings and real time information on their ward through the STS Smart App.
CHILD CHECK BUTTON
All Smart Buses have a Child Check Button installed on the back wall. Once the driver turns off the engine, he manually checks each row of the bus to ensure no one has been left behind. He presses the Child Check button as a sign of having completed his safety check.
This feature is especially useful when it comes to nursery children who tend to fall asleep during long bus rides. It acts as a safety net to ensure that no child gets left behind.
Our Smart Buses are equipped with passive motion sensors that are activated when the vehicle is isolated. These sensors detect even the slightest body movement. They add an additional level of security to the Child Check Button feature of the bus.
Upon detection of movement, the sensor immediately alerts the OCC. This allows the OCC team to take immediate action such as informing parents and establishing contact with the child through the driver’s radio walkie. An STS bus guardian is arranged to receive the child and only upon their arrival does the OCC team open the bus doors.
All Smart Bus’s safety checks and measures are managed and monitored by the OCC, the nexus of our operations. This team works around-the-clock, responds immediately to all alerts and notifications, and collates information generated by the Smart Bus. The information gathered across the OCC’s screens are turned into weekly, monthly and annual reports which form the basis of all operations related decision making for the company.
The Smart Bus embodies STS’s commitment towards Safe, Timely, Smart transportation and cultivates a safety-driven mindset within the community.