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No one can foresee the day when a school bus does not have an adult in the driver seat. What we can foresee is advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
Current OEM supplied school bus driver assist systems, such as anti-lock breaks, electronic stability control and traction control, have been around for a while. They have been operating behind the scenes without the average driver even knowing. Today’s more advanced driver assist systems are found mostly in cars, SUV’s and trucks – like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking or blind spot monitoring – are more interactive. They provide drivers with information about their surroundings and automate repetitive tasks in the hope of an overall increase in safety.
New autonomous technologies are being developed at a blistering pace. In just one automotive model year, advanced driver assists have gone from being offered in a minority of new vehicles to being standard in the majority,
What about the school bus? Anyone planning long term replacement of a school bus should ask dealers what is currently available or when they would be able to select from the latest ADAS offerings currently available in the auto and and light truck sector. Any new technology on the school bus is one more step in increasing safety for our children.