In the past, conventional-style buses had been built on a chassis built from a separate manufacturer. In 2004, two school buses were introduced that led to buses being built from the ground up in-house. The chassis was designed by the company specifically for bus use and built in its own factory.
The last 15 years have seen a variety of innovations introduced into school bus design; some aimed at improving their environmental impact while others are intended to improve school bus safety. Several manufacturers have introduced hybrid school buses, while alternatives to diesel fuel are also being explored. Seatbelts have become more common and the 3-point seatbelt was introduced. School bus crossing arms, first introduced on the last 1990’s, are being used by more and more districts.
Electronics are now paying a big part in school bus operation. Alarm systems have been developed to prevent children from being left on unattended school buses overnight. GPS tracking systems are being used for fleet management and location tracking.
Next week we will talk more about seat belts in school buses.