Accessibility

Veolia's IntelliRide Brings Tech Game-Changer to Paratransit

Posted on August 20, 2013

Android and Samsung (shown here) tablets hit the human services transportation market a couple years ago, and have been a game-changer ever since, due to their ability to be all-purpose tools for operators.
Android and Samsung (shown here) tablets hit the human services transportation market a couple years ago, and have been a game-changer ever since, due to their ability to be all-purpose tools for operators.
Tablet use is not only rising in the general public; paratransit and human service transportation are also taking advantage of the convenience of the mobile devices. Android and Samsung tablets are now being used as Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), Ryan Larsen, president, IntelliRide, a human service transportation division of Veolia Transportation, says. Many MDTs are now being deployed using Android and Samsung Galaxy tablets, which Veolia uses. The equipment is easy for drivers and other staff to use.

“Where don’t see somebody with a tablet of some kind? Everybody is pretty comfortable with that technology,” Larsen says.   

Android tablets hit the human services transportation market a couple years ago, and have been a game-changer ever since, he adds. One benefit is that Google and Android provide an open source platform for the proliferation of web applications allowing providers to monitor customer service agents, or conduct accident investigations, giving a camera to a supervisor and sending them out with a Web app instead of having everything handwritten.

Tablets also cut costs on investing in equipment. A paratransit agency that has an older MDT may have four or five devices in the compartment with the driver. The Android eliminates that duplication of efforts, Larsen points out. For example, an application that records directly on that Android tablet could be used for the driver pre-tip inspection form.

“Everything is right there in the driver’s hands and you don’t have multiple applications and devices in the front of the vehicle,” he adds. “It’s one device, it’s affordable. As the device wears out, you just get a new version for literally pennies on the dollar for what you paid on all these others combined.”

Lack of durability was first seen as a major drawback, but that has not proven to be the case. The tablets are durable, Kent says, and in the rare event they do need to be replaced, it’s a straightforward process of getting a new one out into the field so the wiring isn’t as big a deal.

“Wiring harnesses under the older MDTs could be really cost prohibitive from a maintenance standpoint,” he recalls. “We stripped an MDT down [and] counted all the wires. In an older model it was like 146 wires had to be connected to get this thing in the vehicle. That’s pretty daunting for a mechanic and maintenance staff, if you’ve got 50 vehicles and you have to [install] all those and make sure they’re all operating correctly. You have to really be on top of your maintenance game. Androids are plug and play and inexpensive.”

Securing tablets in the vehicle is easy, using mounting equipment from RAM Mounting Systems, which makes the equipment for police cruisers, boats and now for Android tablets, according to Larsen. The tablets can also be locked if an operator is concerned that the device is going to walk away with staff.

Manufacturers and software developers are also responding to safety concerns agencies from agencies, Larsen says.

“What happens if a driver is looking at the screen while they’re driving? [Some] software manufacturing developers are creating feature functionality that prevents the tablet from operating while the vehicle is in motion. They use the native technology in the tablet, so when the vehicle starts moving it locks the screen.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Pa.'s LANTA hosts seeing eye dog training

The training was conducted by Lehigh Valley volunteers in conjunction with The Seeing Eye, a Morristown, N.J.-based organization.

WMATA taps taxi companies for subsidized Md. paratransit services

The decision was a win for disability rights activists who pressed WMATA officials to avoid companies such as Uber, because they lack vehicles with wheelchair-ramps and have been sued for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Capital Metro steps up to rescue those impacted by Hurricane Harvey

The agency was able to send five vehicles for the transport of 10 wheelchair passengers from a medical facility in Corpus Christi, Texas to a shelter in San Antonio. They are also offering free passes and travel training to those people that are in shelters in Austin.

Transdev contracted for Denver paratransit system

Transdev operations are scheduled to begin Oct. 1 for the Access-a-Ride program, serving Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties in the Denver Metro region.

Car commuters dwarf public transit riders in job access

According to a study, low-income workers who commuted by car had 30 times the access to jobs than those who took public transit. The advent of ridesharing and bikesharing could close the gap.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close