School buses are designed and built for safety. They are surrounded by red flashing lights, their bright yellow color, large mirrors, they are slow, and they also come with the famous stop-sign arm. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is believed that students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a school bus instead of traveling by car.
School bus camera systems can take that safety net even further.
They are capable of capturing live video and audio of the inside of the bus, allowing the driver to keep his eyes on the road. These school bus surveillance cameras help identify bullying, vandalism, any student misbehavior, or even risky driving habits, and let remote supervisors record and view footage to resolve problems quickly.
In this solution brief, we will review the challenges faced by school districts and parents when attempting to provide safe bus rides to students. Then, we will discuss Lanner’s solution to address these challenges. How the in-vehicle Network Video Recorder (NVR) V6S, rugged and compact design can provide video surveillance under moving and harsh conditions. The V6S can take the video feeds of multiple video cameras, and send them to an in-vehicle monitor or to a remote fleet management center via LTE.
What could go wrong, when you cram up 50-70 school students on an everyday 1-2 hour bus ride, every day, and leave them with only one adult supervisor who has to keep his or her eyes on the opposite direction and focus on the road?
About 25 million students in the US, begin and end their day with a school bus ride. While these buses are designed and built for safety, there are other factors outside the road that compromises their security.
There are three main challenges when it comes to enforcing security in school buses.
- Supporting drivers with student supervision and avoiding vandalism and bullying.
- Dealing with unsafe driving behaviors and drivers taking unknown routes.
- Identifying dangerous and illegal stop-arm pass-byes.
First, keeping an eye on the student’s behavior is challenging, as most of the time, the only adult supervisor is the driver, which needs to focus on doing his or her job: to drive the students safely and on time. As kids get older, their onboard behavior can start to be a distraction for the driver. Without extra help, drivers are sometimes overwhelmed by these circumstances.
Second, school bus drivers are also on their own and have tremendous responsibility for driving dozens of school students back and forth. But who is keeping an eye on the drivers? Are they driving carefully?
And third, school drivers might be professional drivers with advanced training, but other drivers around might not. By law, other drivers around a bus are expected to stop at their stop-sign arms; additionally, school buses always stop at railroad crossings and travel at slower speeds, so other vehicles also endanger the safety of school buses.
Additionally, outside the domain of student’s safety, video can also be a privacy issue. Although some parents agree that video cameras can provide security to students, many others are against it, since it can generate many privacy issues. Who has access to these videos? Are videos being stored? Does the department of transit and police have access to these videos?
This solution improves the safety of students by providing vehicle surveillance inside, outside, and around the school bus. All video feeds are either viewed by the driver via a monitor, and/or sent remotely to a fleet management center.
Lanner’s V6S is a crucial component within the school bus camera solution.
The Components of the School Bus Camera Solution
The school bus camera system depends on multiple components for its functionality. In essence, these include the hi-definition exterior/interior cameras, a rugged surveillance NVR with radio communication, the software, and the fleet management center.
Interior/Exterior Bus Cameras
The interior cameras capture a wide live view of all the students riding the bus. A few internal wide-view cameras can give a good picture of what’s happening inside the bus. The interior bus cameras can also provide live footage of the driver, to help remote supervisors quickly detect any signs of abnormal behavior that may put the students at risk.
The exterior cameras can help solve challenges related to the bus, the driving, and its surrounding vehicles. These cameras can be used to automatically collect footage of stop-sign arm violations, help the driver maneuver with a bird’s eye view, and even be helpful as evidence for accidents. The on-board cameras can also be complemented with a monitor to help drivers see all video inputs on a single screen.
Network Video Recorder (NVR)
Lanner’s V6S is a next-generation rugged vehicle surveillance Network Video Recorder (NVR). This vehicle computer is designed for on-board operations, to consolidate all video feeds, and to save them into a removable SSD/HDD storage. The V6S comes with 2x removable 2.5″ drive bays (HDD/SSD is not included).
The V6S NVR also supports PGN-600 and PGN-300 4G/LTE radio modems for mission-critical communications. With these radio modules, the V6S NVR can transmit video data in real-time via the mobile network and communicate with the fleet management center.
The V6S NVR supports up to 10 cameras. These cameras can be connected via PoE ports or through WiFi (with support from a module). The NVR receives the digital signals from all cameras; then, it can either transmit it to an on-vehicle monitor or a remote fleet management center.
- 10 RJ-45 PoE ports for IP camera connection and 1 GbE port.
- Two removable 2.5″ HDD/SSD drive bays.
- Enhanced vehicle computing. V6S is power efficient and graphics-accelerated. It comes with 7th Generation 14 nm Intel® Core™ i7-7600U SoC.
- V6S can operate under a wide range of temperatures and is resistant to shock and vibration.
- Support for 4G/LTE modules (and dual SIM card readers) for mobile broadband connectivity.
The Video Management Software
V6S is a Milestone XProtect verified platform.
Milestone Systems is a leader provider in open platform Video Management Software (VMS), and Milestone XProtect is the software tailored for video surveillance. Milestone added Lanner’s V6S into its Marketplace, as a rugged vehicle PC with certified LTE connectivity, power-efficient performance and accelerated graphics performance for vehicle computing.
The Fleet Management Center
Before forwarding large data sets of raw video data from the school bus to a remote fleet management center, the V6S in-vehicle computer is capable of analyzing and aggregating data using edge intelligence. This functionality can significantly reduce the size of data and network latency.
The remote fleet management center receives all video feeds (already pre-processed by the V6S) from all buses in real-time. The supervisors sitting at the center can help the driver, track the bus, monitor students, etc. But to take it further, the processed data with additional intelligence can also be used within the vehicle to avoid obstacles, as a location tracking system, and more.
The solution also allows integration with other data, for example, school bus cameras, telematics data, and school building cameras, all into one platform with the open VMS.
The robust school bus surveillance NVR V6S is the perfect solution for public schools and private charter student bus services. The appliance makes onboard video camera systems available and solves many of the security challenges faced by school buses.
So, what are the main benefits of the entire system?
- Monitor onboard student and driver behavior: High-resolution video/audio recording helps school districts and parents identify and stop bullying, vandalism, or any other bad discipline from onboard students. Video cameras help keep a close eye on the behavior of the students and even of the driver. Video surveillance can help identify and stop risky driving habits. Having available footage can help resolve disputes between students, drivers, and parents.
- Help plan better routes and avoid buses going off route. Identify and help drivers navigate through better routes. Video telematics data along with GPS tracking data can help track buses, know which ways they are taking, the stops, traffic, and delays. With this data, bus supervisors can help plan better routes and keep track of the buses. Additionally, V6S analytics capabilities, along with the PGN-300 or PGN-600 LTE mobile broadband module, can be used for improved security through geofencing. Set a virtual geographical fence for each bus and get instantaneous alarms when a bus is going outside those fences.
- Improve the safety of the bus surroundings. Buses by itself are designed and built for safety. They are long metal tubes, with big mirrors, compartmentalized seats, red flashing lights, the stop-sign shaped arm, and more. Exterior cameras installed on the school bus can help automatically capture evidence of illegal stop-arm violations, and keep children safe.
- Track Ridership. School bus video surveillance systems can also help track the attendance of the students on the bus. Parents and schools can know in real-time if a particular student is riding the bus or is missing. They can also see the entry and exit locations of each student riding the bus. Video evidence can help determine when and where each student boards and exits the bus.
- Fulfill school bus safety standards and regulations. School buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. They are designed and built for safety, so in most cases, a video surveillance solution for public and private school buses may be required to fulfill certain safety compliance, such as the NHTSA.
- Protect the student’s privacy: If privacy policies are in place by the school and parents/students agree with it, video surveillance content should aim to provide safety to school bus children while at the same time protect their privacy. The schools need to have a clear security policy about the use of onboard bus video camera systems. This policy should state retention times, record keeping, and deletion.
- Endure harsh environments: V6S is a vehicle NVR, specially built to endure harsh conditions such as transportation. The V6S appliance is built in an anti-vibration kit to withstand constant shocking, and its fanless design with corrugated aluminum is capable of keeping the system cool. It can operate from -20°C to 60°C temperatures. The appliance is also capable of operating under 5% to 95% (non-condensing) humidity.
Additionally, an advantage of the school bus NVR solution is that, since it can endure harsh environments, it is capable of saving video content to an expandable HDD/SDD storage, which makes it a perfect solution for video evidence. In case of unfortunate events, such as road accidents, vandalism, or even missing passengers, the video taken and stored by the school bus camera system can be useful as evidence. If the school policy allows, the video feeds can be used by state police to improve security.
The main purpose of school bus cameras is to provide safety for all students. These surveillance systems can help keep order inside the school bus and can also help the driver extend the view for better maneuvering, and even collect snapshots of stop-sign arm violations.
A comprehensive school bus camera system is composed of a series of external/internal cameras that feed video content to either an in-vehicle monitor or a remote fleet management center. To make this happen the V6S rugged NVR, is an essential component within this solution.
The V6S is used for in-vehicle surveillance, recording, and even analytics.
For more information on the V6S, start a chat or request a quote.