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

Fla.'s Broward County considering taxis, Uber, Lyft for paratransit

The county would pick up $15 of the tab. With most paratransit rides five miles or fewer, county officials believe $15 likely would cover the entire bill.

Transdev wins Phoenix Dial-a-Ride service contract

Beginning July 1, 2017, the consolidation of two existing contracts will result in one service provider that operates the service, accepts customer calls, verifies customer eligibility, schedules requested trips, and maintains vehicles.

Profile: Chris Pangilinan, Program Director at TransitCenter

When Chris Pangilinan was a little kid, riding in the backseat of his family’s station wagon, the red stoplights annoyed him. “I would think, Why is this so inefficient? Why do we have to stop all the time?” he recalls...

Phoenix Transit enhances Dial-a-Ride with 'overflow' service

The approved partnership between Dial-a-Ride contractor MV Transportation and their subcontractor Discount Cab provides overflow service during the regular service day.

N.Y. paratransit costs skyrocketing, lack of subway elevators cited: study

Access-A-Ride cost $85.2 million and carried 1.7 million rides in 2000, increasing to an estimated $506 million this year for more than 6.3 million trips.

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