Reading Buses is the first operator to take advantage of an integrated system that reads Freeway Fleet Systems vehicle inspection data entered by bus drivers into Ticketer ticket machines.
The development provides seamless transfer of first-use check data and defect reports to improve workshop scheduling and compliance management. The integration work is being led by Reading Buses.
This is part of a drive by Freeway to help operators go digital by collecting data on electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and in this case ticket machines.
“Capturing and then dealing with driver defects is a massive task with operators accumulating literally millions of paper defect cards every year,” says Freeway managing director Patrick Tandy. “With the advent of the Driver & Vehicle Services Agency’s Earned Recognition scheme, there is increased focus on compliance including driver defect recording. All operators capture the defects, but with laborious manual capture the details of defects often only become available many hours later.
“Reading Buses has worked closely with Freeway and Ticketer to integrate the first use-check into the ticket machine and to automatically generate the resulting defects into Freeway. And by using existing devices in the cab there isn’t an extra piece of equipment to worry about. The automation immediately alerts engineering of any first-use check problems, so they are ahead of the curve. They can allocate the resource that they need by way of labour and parts.”
Freeway pioneered smartphone based solutions for driver first-use checks. “We realise that although a smartphone solution is really easy to configure for different operators in different countries, there are budgetary, technical and in some cases legal constraints to providing each driver with a personal mobile device,” adds Tandy.
With system integration traditionally a drawn out and costly process, Freeway has employed artificial intelligence to simplify integration with Ticketer. The Freeway software learns as data is entered and remembers what data goes where; it recognises defects and their significance allowing future data to be processed automatically and imported correctly.
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