UAE: Parents will soon be able to watch live videos of their children in a school bus and will be alerted every time the kid gets on and off the vehicle.
The new system being introduced by various private players and telecom providers enables school buses to be fitted with Enterprise Service Routers, complete with built-in GPS and GPRS facilities and even enable Wi-Fi access within the school bus and surrounding areas.
Both Etisalat and du are in negotiations with various partners, participating at the ongoing Gitex Technology Week, to incorporate the facility and roll it out as a service to institutions.
Alcatel Lucent, for example is showcasing the concept ‘Connected Bus’ which it says can connect the entire fleet to a central base station.
“It firstly makes the school bus connected. You can then customise the features whichever way you want. You can either give access to parents and or the driver of the vehicle and/or the central monitoring centre,” says Ahmed Youssef of Alcatel Lucent.
According to him incorporating a simple RFID tag into the child’s ID will help track the child. “Every time the child gets into the vehicle, the parents can be alerted. If the vehicle is switched off with a child still inside the vehicle both the driver and other monitoring parties will be immediately alerted,” he said.
The company is already in discussions with a major UAE telecom provider. “We are providing a similar service to AT&T in the US and is implemented in thousands of vehicles,” he added.
Meanwhile UAE retailer Jacky’s has also entered the race with its own custom-made solution.
Specifically referring to a recent incident in Abu Dhabi, Ashish Panjabi of Jacky’s Electronics told Emirates 24|7 that a similar technology if available on the Abu Dhabi school bus could have definitely saved the child’s life.
A four-year-old Indian school girl who was found dead in the bus in Abu Dhabi last Tuesday was left asleep for several hours after the van was locked by the driver and the bus supervisor.
Naziha Lal Ahmed, who was in the private Al Worood school, was found dead at the end of the school day after she apparently suffocated inside the locked bus on a hot day.
Such incident have led many technology companies to aggressively market the service in the UAE.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi School Transport Committee has announced that it is implementing an advanced monitoring system to track buses in the emirate.
The decision was unveiled by the Ministry of Interior at the Gitex Technology Week in Dubai on Sunday.
Initially 100 vehicles will be covered followed by emirate wide roll out. The criteria and requirements of the programme have been set by the Abu Dhabi Police, Department of Transport and the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
© Emirates 24|7 2014