Zonar Systems Produces Applications That Improve Student Transport

Based on its recent analysis of how telematics can be used to improve the safety and efficiency of school bus transportation, Frost and Sullivan recognizes Zonar Systems with the 2008 Product Innovation of the Year Award. The Award cites Zonar's strong technical and practical leadership by reducing operating costs and maintaining the best performance in the pupil transportation industry.

Mike Martin, Executive Director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), the industry's largest trade group, congratulated Zonar on its Award.

"The big yellow school bus is a mainstay American institution, with a performance record second to none. Public expectations have never been higher for safety, security, reliability, and at a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, achieving the best possible operating efficiency. Zonar is making a significant contribution to help us meet all of these expectations."The company offers the school bus industry an extensive suite of integrated, complimentary hardware and software solutions. System components include Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR), Global Positioning System (GPS), ZPass, and the web-based data management application, Ground Traffic Control (GTC).

"Zonar's fleet management solution translates into increased student safety and security, optimized asset utilization, and enhanced operational efficiencies of school bus fleets," says Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Neelu Singh.

The patented EVIR system ensures mandatory pre- and post-trip safety inspections are performed, eliminates paperwork, and speeds vehicle repair while reducing overhead expenditures. This system also provides a very critical component to the pupil transportation industry, verified child checks that prevent students from being left on the bus.

The bus driver uses a hand-held RFID reader and companion RFID tags mounted in critical inspection "zones" to electronically document inspection observations. The information is logged and wirelessly transmitted to a secure database, which can be accessed by transportation officials through GTC. This confirms inspections are completed thoroughly and accurately.

"Our products and services represent the collaborative efforts of countless dedicated professionals within the pupil transportation community. It's an honor and privilege to be part of this community and we believe this Award validates our ongoing commitment to customer driven ingenuity," said Zonar Senior Vice President of Marketing, William Brinton.

The company's patented web-based RFID card system, ZPass, for student ridership tracking, enables parents and school officials to easily pinpoint student location while aboard a bus. All information is stored in a secure database accessible only to chosen administrators, and each RFID card contains a unique identifying number. No personal information about the child is stored on the card.

Zonar is first in the industry to merge the functionality of Google Maps for Enterprise with client map data from county or school GIS systems. Combining GPS and RFID technologies provides instant vehicle location information and helps analyze the profitability and fuel-efficiency of routes.

"With this solution, transportation officials no longer need to rely on a variety of third-party mapping solutions to supply trip and safety data or pay costly premiums for access to special features such as satellite imagery," notes Singh.

Each year Frost and Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated the ability to develop and/or advance products with more innovative capabilities than competing vendors and products.

The Award recognizes the company's successful adoption of new or existing technology that has become a part of its well-designed product family. Such innovation is expected to significantly contribute to the industry in terms of product performance and degree/rate of technical change.

Frost and Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.


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