Gwinnett County Public Schools decreases incident investigation time by 50% with AI Dash Cams

With Samsara, Gwinnett County Public Schools takes a data-driven approach to their vast school bus operations—improving student safety, protecting drivers, and boosting operational efficiency. 

GCPS stat

Meet Gwinnett County Public Schools

Siloed data and limited visibility hindered GCPS from fully realizing their potential in safety and efficiency.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is one of the 10 largest public school systems in the United States. Their bus managers are tasked with providing a safe transportation experience for over 182,000 students every day.

In 2015, GCPS implemented their first GPS solution with a third-party vendor, but found that its functionality was limited. Prior to Samsara, it was difficult for GCPS to provide bus managers with feedback on risky behaviors, such as harsh braking, seatbelt usage, and mobile usage.

The role of a bus manager extends far beyond simply operating the vehicle. Working with student populations means that the GCPS team must manage parent complaints and “he said, she said” claims about student safety. Without full visibility, GCPS had a limited understanding of what was actually happening inside their buses, making it difficult to investigate claims and protect bus managers. 

In addition, GCPS’s legacy solution overwhelmed their back-office team with siloed data that inundated dispatch, requiring hours to resolve incidents such as bus delays. The data only provided limited visibility into school bus location and was not actionable.

GCPS needed a technology solution that would enable them to transform the safety and efficiency of their expansive school bus operations, so they could improve the student experience and optimize their service to the local Gwinnett community.

Real-time visibility improves safety and efficiency for GCPS.

Gwinnett County transformed their school bus operations with Samsara, taking control of their data across 2,000 school buses to improve the safety and efficiency of their fleet. GCPS first selected Samsara for real-time GPS, but they quickly expanded to adopt Samsara AI Dash Cams to gain greater visibility into safety as well.

Though bus managers were initially skeptical about AI Dash Cams, transparent communication from Charley Humble, Executive Director of Transportation, made it easy for bus managers to understand the value of having a dash cam inside the bus. “One of the reasons we got AI Dash Cams is to keep our drivers safe, and to support the great job they do every day,” said Humble. “Our drivers understand that the cameras are there to protect them, and they feel empowered by the accountability too.”

GCPS developed a video-based safety program to proactively coach bus managers, empowering them to build better habits. Using Samsara’s coaching workflows, the back-office team can quickly and easily coach drivers with video footage. “The AI Dash Cams helped us understand our safety gaps so we can better coach our bus managers on safe behaviors,” said Humble.

Beyond on-the-road safety, GCPS used AI Dash Cams to reimagine what transparency means for both students and bus managers. Previously, bus managers were at risk of being placed out of commission while incidents were being investigated. Now that GCPS has access to HD footage captured on AI Dash Cams located inside the bus, they can quickly investigate incidents and dispute false claims—streamlining parent communication and exonerating innocent bus managers within hours. AI Dash Cams have afforded both students and drivers with a newfound sense of accountability, enabling GCPS to create a safety culture that protects the entire community.

In addition, Samsara enables them to optimize dispatch and shorten response times. Administrators use actionable data on the Samsara Dashboard to ensure students are safely transported across more than 8,000 routes. Bus lines are clearly demarcated with geofences, so the back office instantly receives alerts when school buses encounter an emergency or deviate from their route. Nearby buses within the designated geofence can then be reallocated for support—minimizing downtime and improving operational efficiency. 

When incidents do occur, bus managers use Samsara real-time GPS tracking to streamline response times. “GPS used to be an afterthought with our previous vendor. Now, we use Samsara everyday for multiple departments in our division,” said Humble. “Samsara gives us the ability to take millions of data points and take action on them, bridging the gap between our back office and what goes on in the real world."

Increased visibility drives significant improvements across driver training, student safety, and operational efficiency.

With Samsara, Gwinnett County Public Schools significantly improved the safety and efficiency of their school bus fleet. By proactively coaching bus managers, they reduced harsh braking by 60% and seat belt violations by 47% in 3 months. Dual-facing footage also enabled GCPS to streamline driver exoneration, decreasing the number of days it takes to investigate an incident on the bus by 50%, from 1-2 weeks to 24-48 hours.

In addition, by using real-time GPS tracking to determine the precise location and status of their buses, GCPS saves over 400 hours each week district-wide for their dispatch, supervisors, and transport managers.

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