Technology has played an integral part in the advancements that have been made in the transportation industry. While these improvements and efficiencies have brought about progress, they have not necessarily been easy to deliver and maintain.
School beacons are a classic example of technology that requires a labor-intensive installation and complicated software configuration. After installation, school beacons have typically required hands-on, manual updates and on-going battery and equipment testing as well manual changes to accommodate for revised schedules.
With recent advancements, the transportation market is welcoming a new trend in technology—low friction delivery and maintenance of equipment. These improvements currently allow for turnkey installation, quick deployment of equipment, easy updates and automated reporting. As technology improves, so does the process of installation and deployment.
What does this look like in practice? Let’s see how a low-friction method affects the delivery and maintenance of school beacons.
Low Friction Delivery
When it comes to delivery, “low-friction” means you can simply plug in the equipment and it’s ready to go. Instead of having to manually set-up each individual beacon, the equipment will automatically configure and add itself to the network.
Implementing a low friction delivery methodology starts at the vendor level. All devices are pre-labeled and pre-configured prior to being shipped to a city or organization. This includes adding all the required user names and passwords into the software and equipment.
Built-in cell modems and GPS systems are essential for low-friction delivery so that the devices can auto-locate and auto-connect to the network. This level of connectivity allows for the use of a web-based central system to manage the devices. When devices have been configured in this manner, the installation team can simply add the devices in the field and the beacons auto-configure themselves. They’ll acquire an IP address, place themselves on the map and begin reporting data. Utilizing this methodology not only increases efficiency, it substantially reduces expenses, installation time and potential errors associated with the installs.
Low Friction Maintenance
The low friction paradigm expands beyond the installation process and into the maintenance of the devices. Using the built-in GPS and cell-modem, the beacon will report back on the health and status of the equipment as well as the communication statistics.
Daily reports are automatically generated and delivered so departments can proactively respond to beacons that are experiencing issues and need attention. Your Team can access a quick online report that includes the beacon’s status, timing plan, battery health, and other key diagnostics in order to monitor them without having to rely on calls from motorists. These improvements significantly reduce the amount of time spent on site visits.
A Better Way
Low Friction delivery provides and end-to-end solution that saves time, manpower, and specialty expertise. In fact, this methodology allowed Gwinnett County, Georgia to fully deploy 270 beacons in just five days. In the end, it’s simply a better way to install and manage transportation technology equipment.