Today, I’d like to hone in on a topic that I think will be particularly interesting to our friends in the public sector space. With 2,500 public sector customers, we’re always interested in what’s happening in their world.

I came across an article yesterday on Future Structure about battery-operated school buses. How awesome is that! Electric cars have been around for quite some time, but battery-powered school buses seem so much more exciting. Not only is it more fun to ride to school now, the electric, exhaust-free vehicles are better for the environment and are expected to cost school districts and state and local government less money. They are a hefty expense initially but are a much more reasonable option in the long run when compared to diesel buses; “it costs one-sixth to one-eighth as much to operate as a diesel bus,” says Jim Castelaz, chief executive officer of Motiv Power Systems, a manufacturer of all-electric powertrain control systems.

It's electric! Riding to school in style

Technology allows us to customize experiences and create efficiency. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, visual reality, or battery-powered vehicles, new innovations continue to change what’s “normal” for us. We’ve seen it in workforce management with  Workforce Dimensions, and we’ll continue to see it manifest in other industries as well. Will school buses be electric by 2025? Or better yet, will they be self-driving? Think about that for a moment. Would you put your child on a self-driving school bus? For me, there are a few obvious benefits:

  • Considering most crashes are caused by human error, it could be safer over time.

  • It would help solve the problem of the bus driver shortage.

  • Did you ever wait for a bus that never came? I don’t know how much of an issue this is, but it happened to me quite often. I’m thinking programming routes into smart buses would make this situation a rarity all around.

I think it’s safe to say we’re teetering on the edge of a new normal – one where technology largely does all the work for us, including K-12 transportation. Maybe someday soon it will be old news to see Hannah the self-driving school bus by Teague (pictured below) pull up to take our children to school. Is this the future?


Electric School Bus

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018