SALISBURY TWP., Pa. – More than 80 school buses carrying students in the Wilson Area, Salisbury Township and Catasauqua Area districts will soon be equipped with state-of-the-art safety technology.
“The core of our tech is an AI engine named Ava and she’s able to monitor up to eight lanes of traffic in a variety of traffic conditions,” said Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol.
The districts are partnering with BusPatrol, which provides and installs that artificial intelligence, along with interior and exterior cameras.
“Motors who illegally pass a school bus with its overhead lights flashing and stop-arm activated are going to get in the mail a citation and they’re going to be able to go online and see a video of their car illegally passing a stopped school bus,” said Souliere.
Souliere says drivers who are cited will have to pay a $300 fine, but seeing footage from the incident is typically just as powerful.
“When you’re on every bus in a community and the community then becomes aware that this AI engine doesn’t make mistakes and is going to catch everyone, then motorists start to treat the school bus the same way they treat patrol cars.”
But modernizing the buses isn’t just about catching drivers in the act.
“We’re able to isolate problem areas in the community so that school districts can be proactive in the safety they deliver their children which means maybe moving a stop or planning the route a little differently,” said Souliere.
The interior cameras can also help with issues of bullying or even contact tracing.
The programs are expected to take effect Nov. one.