Taking the bus to school is a rite of passage for most kids, one of their first tastes of independence. But it can be stressful for parents, who can worry over the safety of their children and as well as simply whether the bus will show up or not.
A few years ago, Amit Anand, remembers receiving a call from a family friend whose son one day decided to get off his bus early and visit his aunt instead of going home. After a few hours of frantic searching, his parents called his aunt, who had no idea her nephew had taken a detour. This appears to be a scary scenario in every jurisdiction in the world.
This incident got Anand thinking. An IT industry veteran of over 20 years, who runs a consulting company building software for the government and oil and gas industry, figured there had to be a way to leverage the latest technologies to give parents some peace of mind. “A lightbulb went off in my head, and I knew there was a way we could help parents,” says Anand.
Enter ez enRoute, a touch-free student monitoring system that Anand and his team have been developing since 2016. Based on iBeacon, a protocol introduced by Apple in 2013, ez enRoute uses a sensor carried by a student — affixed to a backpack, for example—to transmit the parameters of that student communicating with the driver mobile application and relaying to a parent’s phone through ez enroute cloud, enabling parent to monitor their child in real time to and from school on a school bus.
From an app on their smartphone, a parent can track their child’s bus, the route they take, receive notifications when their child both gets on and off the bus, and get an ETA of their child’s arrival, helping them save time and avoid unnecessary waiting.
In addition to parents, schools around the world have been interested in the technology. With tight education budgets and growing security concerns around safety in schools and school transportation, ez enRoute’s solutions are of real interest. The ability to plan routes for drivers, easy training experience and affordable pricing allows schools to save on costs and at the same time enhance safety for their students. There is even analytics built into the technology that allows schools to access traffic data that can help with rerouting bus routes if needed to adjust for temporary road construction and also monitor driver performance. This fall, ez enRoute will launch their two biggest pilots in Ontario and Asia.
Other industries, besides transportation have since taken note. “Lots of companies outside of the transportation industry have contacted us wanting to leverage our technology to help solve their business problems,” says Anand. “They’ve seen how our technology can enhance worker safety, and monitor equipment and key company assets.”
One example, is a multinational security and monitoring company who envision using ez enRoute’s platform to monitor the location of their employees in case of injuries on the job. Another industry where ez enRoute has explored entering is tourism.
“We’ve had chats with cities about using our platform to help them monitor and improve visitor experiences,” Anand says. “We can link the physical world to a digital world through our smart devices. Imagine entering a city museum, where you are greeted automatically on your smart phone and are able to customize your museum tour so that you not only choose what exhibits you want to view but you can also view all of the history about each exhibit, this is what our technology can do. ez enRoute is also working with SMART cities in Asia integrating technology in “keep city clean” initiatives. Going forward, Anand and his team plan to continue working with experts in other fields to develop solutions for a range of industries. “We never envisioned our platform would have this sort of reach, but we’re excited about all of the places we can take it.”