Technology, Integration and School Bus Advancement
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Technology, Integration and School Bus Advancement Presented by: Kirk Lacko Senior Product Marketing Manager, Blue Bird Corporation. Technological Advancements. Product Planning / Advanced Engineering. Over 200 years of combined experience in advanced engineering.

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Technology, Integration and School Bus Advancement

Presented by:

Kirk Lacko

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Blue Bird Corporation

Product Planning / Advanced Engineering

Over 200 years of combined experience in advanced engineering

Development of Product Cycle Plan

Investigate technologies from adjacent industries for applicability to school buses

Ideation on new features and technologies for school buses

Bring new concepts to implementation readiness

Observe, explore and propose responses to industry and competitor trends

School Bus Technology Evolves

Blue Bird is embracing technological advancement

Automotive and Trucking technologies continue to influence the school bus marketplace

Telematics; GPS, Navigation, Engine Diagnostics, Student Tracking

Integrated systems = less mechanical

Light-weight materials

Greater Alternative Fuel adoption

Camera’s and sensors inside/outside

of the bus

Active safety technology

Passive safety technology

Owner Feedback

Integrating owner feedback into future product development

Propane Owner’s Survey

Customer Satisfaction

Index (CSI)

New Product / Product

Enhancement Surveys

Business Case Studies

Case Studies

Omaha Public Schools -- One Year of Propane Autogas: Alternative Fuel Buses Drive Down Costs

A case study that reviews the fuel cost and maintenance cost savings that a major fleet experienced after one year of using Blue Bird’s propane autogas school buses

Savings of almost 50 percent per gallon on fuel costs were experienced when compared to diesel

42.6 million fewer pounds of carbon dioxide emitted over the lifetime of the fleet

96 percent of the fleet is operating on propane autogas

New York School District Lowers Operating Costs, Reduces Emissions with Propane Autogas School Buses

A case study that reviews the fuel cost and maintenance cost savings that Washingtonville Central School District experienced with just 20 percent of their fleet being propane autogas

Annual fuel savings of about $21,000 per year for the autogas fleet

30 percent less spent on routine maintenance expenses per year for the autogas fleet

About 120,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per bus eliminated from Washingtonville’s carbon footprint, during the lifetime of the vehicle

Technology and Features

Aligning technology with brand leaders will drive growth

  • Safety and Durability

  • Vision/Camera Surveillance

  • GPS Reporting/Tracking

  • Bus Maintenance Alerts

  • Ridership Tracking

  • Driver Distraction Controls

  • Efficiency/TCO

  • Alternative Energy Solutions

  • Engine Diagnostics

  • Route Optimization

  • Ergonomics

  • Driver Time & Attendance

  • Diverse Markets

  • “Special Needs” Features

  • International Standards

Enhancing Supplier Relations

Total Cost Ownership (TCO)

Quality and reliability

Product innovation

Supplier optimization

Lead-time reduction and Forecast accuracy

Areas of Focus

Supplier Enablers

  • Design & material reviews, logistics, SKU management

  • Supplier development, warranty management, PPAP process, supplier audits

  • Early supplier involvement, NDA’s, Supply Agreements

  • Category strategies, supplier assessments, preferred supplier listing

  • Forecasting, inventory management programs

Blue Bird Buses

Designed with Kids in Mind

Practicality, Functionality and Safety

Child safety is paramount

Safety Driven

Real Life Application

Enhanced Student Ridership

Riding the Bus to School is Fun

Purpose-Built with Children’s Safety in Mind

Purpose-Built Chassis

Made just for school bus application

Chassis protection

Best-In-Class Driver’s View

Exceptional mirror systems

6.5’ Headroom

Ease of Operation

Increased ease of operation with our new Blue Bird E-Z Windows™

Children can easily operate Blue Bird E-Z Windows™ due to new interlocking technology which allows for smoother operation

New latches are ergonomic and emergency door is easier to operate

Student Tracking

Improve Student Rider Safety and Security

Maximize Bus Utilization

Provide Better Customer Service

Automate Reimbursement Reporting

Blue Bird Connect™

Factory installed GPS and NO UPFRONT COSTS!

GPS Powered by Synovia Solutions

Embedded OEM solution

Factory option or retrofit

OEM buses are pre-wired

Integrated engine diagnostics

Turn-key all-inclusive package

No upfront costs

Simple monthly service fee

Blue Bird Connect™ is Fully Equipped

Yellow Distance|


Child Check|

function check &

check completed



Video Camera|

function check

External Antenna|

best Verizon


GPS Unit|

in a hidden


Driver Panic


alert &

location stamp


monitor harsh

braking and



Confirm run/route that

is being serviced

Inspection Checklist|

real-time updates




Speed, idle,

on-time performance, etc.


open or close


Real-time, location,

date & time stamp

for clock in & out


up-to-date manifest

New Blue Bird E-Z Windows™

Blue Bird E-Z Windows™ Feature Superior Leak Resistance

and Ease of Service

Smooth Operation

Interlocking Construction

Leak-Resistant Seals

Ergonomic Latches

Blue Bird E-Z Windows™ are an innovation in windows!

New Blue Bird Air Conditioning

Installed at Blue Bird, not an “aftermarket” solution

Driver A/C Dash Evaporator is standard

System is not an “aftermarket” installation

No seat and body plan limitations on special needs buses

System does not intrude into seating area

Common design in Vision and All American bus models

No custom parts for ease of service

New Luggage Box Redesign

Sturdy and waterproof

Full Perimeter Bulb Seal

New Latches

Door Reinforcement

New Bendix Air Disc Brakes

Active safety technology from the industry leader

Blue Bird is pleased to offer the new Bendix Air Disc Brake option

Shorter Stops

Significantly shorter stops in demanding applications that even than even the best drum brake designs

Better Braking Feel

Improved side to side brake consistency

Quick pad changes

Quick change pads- 15 minutes per brake (with wheels off)

Audio Enhancements

New generation Source Unit - “Mechless Radio”

New standard radio offering on all Blue Bird Buses

Combo of radio and MP3 player

Public Announcement (PA) system optional

Lower warranty costs without mechanical CD Player

Wire Molding Profile

Neater (tidy) appearance throughout the ceiling

Easier to service dome lights, radio speakers, including wiring

Reduces interference of some optional components to the dome lights and speakers, such as air conditioning systems and book racks

Product Enhancements

from Micro Bird

Micro Bird Features

The G5 delivers; Quality, Safety, and Comfortall under the

yellow paint

Micro Bird: Superior Riding Comfort

Double acting isolators the full length of the chassis: no maintenance required

R6 rated fiber glass covering all side, rear, front and roof panels

Roof bows one piece hat section terminate at floor with insulated, mechanical fasteners

Micro Bird: Enhanced Features

32 inch door opening. One piece glass window, sealed bearing standard, electric mechanism standard

Our GM chassis features a 551 square inch driver view; the largest in the industry