Amaro (UD), 13 August 2007
Sprint-Certified System for Voice and Data Cellular and WiFi Communications Offers Age-Appropriate Content on School Buses
Columbia, Md., August 13, 2007 Applied Data Systems, a leading supplier of embedded computer systems and a member of the Eurotech Group, S.p.A, announces today the completion of a quick-turn, completely integrated and enclosed communications system for Bus Radio, based on the BitsyXb product line with the Linux operating system. Bus Radio is a national radio program for school buses that broadcasts age-appropriate music, entertainment, public service announcements, and educational programming to students ages six to 18. The Bus Radio contract was announced in March 2007, with first units produced and delivered just four months later to deploy as the 2007-2008 school year begins. Applied Data performed all aspects of system development, including industrial and electrical design and management of third-party cellular testing.
"With this program, Bus Radio's goal is to make school bus trips both safer and more fun. We give the units and programming to the school districts for free, and ensure that our radio program presents messaging and content that is appropriate for all age groups. Applied Data Systems won this contract in the spring, and with a lot of hard work, delivered what we needed to be ready for the start of the school year," said Michael Yanoff, CEO of Bus Radio.
With this program, schools can improve bus safety by providing entertainment during the ride, lowering overall noise on the bus, and reducing distractions for bus drivers. The Bus Radio system delivers content to school children on their daily bus rides, offering public service announcements, age-appropriate music, news items and contests. Programming is updated every evening so material is fresh each day.
The Bus Radio program is one of Applied Data's fully packaged product offerings. Bus Radio, because of the mobile aspect of the program, also required third-party certification of the communications functionality. Applied Data Systems worked with the contracted wireless carrier, Sprint Nextel, to certify that the physical units are compliant with all required communications and exceeded the requirements defined by the carrier.
Programming content is updated using a high-speed WiFi network connection. Bus Radio also uses the Global Satellite System to send GPS location coordinates to the bus control center for real-time tracking of bus location and status. When necessary, the bus driver can quickly establish a two-way voice telephone conversation with a 911 operator by simply activating the integrated panic button feature. School administrators can also access live GPS data on their bus fleets throughout the day.
"Bus Radio offers a service that lowers noise and reduces distractions on school buses, and with another school year about to begin, the systems that Applied Data delivers to Bus Radio should make the daily bus commute more enjoyable and safe for students and drivers", Robert Olsen, president of Applied Data Systems, commented. "Applied Data's team applied expertise with mobile communications, metal and plastic enclosures, project management, and low power embedded computer systems to bring this project from contract to production in time for the fall launch by Bus Radio".
Applied Data Systems is an active contributor to the Debian Open Source Community.