The Education Authority (EA) is responsible for delivering safe, efficient home to school transport for 90,000 children across Northern Ireland, using a fleet of more than 800 dedicated buses as well as other modes including Translink service.
EA is committed to a programme of digital transformation. As part of this programme, EA is keen to stimulate the development of innovative solutions to enable delivery of safer and more efficient home-to-school transport in Northern Ireland.
In October, EA launched a new ‘Smart School Transport’ competition under the Small Business Research Initiative scheme (SBRI). It invited bids to develop innovative ways to improve;
- Convenience for pupils / journey data capture
- Understanding usage patterns of the EA fleet of vehicles
- Improving fleet logistics, and
- Pupil safety & security
Fifteen bidders responded to the invitation to tender and following interviews of shortlisted proposals three companies have been selected to work with the EA.
This initial Phase of the SBRI is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept and its viability as a solution for the EA. The proof-of-concept work will be restricted to applications on EA-owned bus fleet, though solutions should be scalable to other services.
The three companies selected are:
Kinsetsu is an innovative NI company focusing on connecting the physical and digital worlds, joining assets and people with data and systems. Kinsetsu deliver intelligent tracking and location proximity solutions in various industries. Our focus is to drive efficiencies, productivity and traceability providing relevant information securely to the right person at the right time. The Kinsetsu solution will provide a realtime digital footprint, in this instance, for the Education Authority Fleet, enabling pupil journey data for relevant communication and awareness to assist with the pupil experience and safety. Kinsetsu capture this data to provide business insights and facilitate further data analysis for future optimisation of the pupil journey and the Education Authority fleet.
2. Analytics Engines
Analytics Engines, specializes in high performance data and analytics software and services, focusing on Smart Cities, Life Sciences and Health Care applications. We provide an enterprise grade data platform with inbuilt advanced analytics capabilities, building innovative solutions to complex problems, delivering value for our customers.
3. Deloitte MCS
Deloitte LLP is among the country's leading professional services firms. Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The purpose of Phase 1 is to trial and test three prototypes on a small selection of vehicles and routes, to determine whether further phases of extended testing and development should be undertaken. In all cases, each project is required to comply with all data, safeguarding and security requirements of EA. Phase 1 will be completed by the end of March 2018.