Brevard Public Schools buses using AI to detect illegal passing

Wesh2 | By Scott Heidler | October 24, 2022


Brevard County Schools is part of a high-tech pilot program aimed at making school buses safer.

Only two months in, the results show hundreds of drivers violated stop arm laws.

On just ten Brevard County buses since classes started this school year, the BusPatrol artificial intelligence stop arm system captured nearly 800 incidents of drivers ignoring laws, and in some cases, not even putting on the breaks.

The pilot stage is to help drivers understand how flagrant the violations are, and eventually, they could be getting warnings with a link to a recording of their car.

“When the citizens all start becoming aware that every single school bus is equipped with this AI-powered technology. Then what happens, people start paying attention to the yellow school buses. And very quickly you start to see this reflex,” said BusPatrol CEO Jean Souliere.

That reflex is to put on the breaks — a move that’s already the law.

In other programs across the county that are beyond the pilot stage, when tickets are issued, only 5% are contested. It’s the lowest in automated enforcement.

School districts don’t pay for the stop arm systems to be installed in the buses. The company BusPatrol will ultimately get its funding once tickets from the automated system kick in.

But at this stage in Brevard, they’re still in the testing phase.

“We obviously look at cost-benefit analysis. But, like I said, we are still in the pilot program stage. So we do a full review once that is complete. But so far we have been happy with the results and look forward to seeing the future results,” said Russell Bruhn of Brevard Public Schools.

There are two other Florida counties also conducting pilot programs with the AI school bus systems.

If lawmakers see this as a way forward for school districts across the state, legislation could be presented as early as the next session.

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