US Department of Transportation Awards HAAS Alert Contract to Expand School Bus V2X Alerting

Aug 31, 2022

Phase II SBIR Contract Will Build on Findings and Success from Previous Project. 

Chicago, August 30, 2022: The United States Department of Transportation formally awarded HAAS Alert a Prime Phase II SBIR Contract this month to further improve school bus safety using C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) alert notifications. Working in coordination with subcontractors and researchers at USDOT Volpe Center, the project will explore additional ways of enabling school buses to deliver real-time safety notifications to approaching vehicles through HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud® V2X platform, alerting drivers of students boarding or disembarking ahead.

Last year, HAAS Alert worked with the Department of Transportation to show how school buses can deliver V2X safety notifications - called digital alerts - to approaching drivers inside vehicle displays and through the world’s largest navigation applications. The successful Phase I SBIR project demonstrated that Safety Cloud could be equipped to any school bus for less than a dollar a day and automatically deliver advance warning notifications to drivers approaching active bus stops using real-time V2X enhanced with machine learning.

In its Phase II project, HAAS Alert will expand its work into new C-V2X digital alerting use cases for school bus drop-off and pick-up stops, with a particular focus on positively impacting nearby driver behavior. Additional triggering mechanisms will be explored for digital alerts based on various bus operations including stop arm, hazard lights, headlights, and even preventative alerts for drivers approaching pick-up or drop-off areas during periods of time when buses are active.

Every weekday, more than 470,000 yellow school buses provide daily transport to and from school for 25 million children across the country, making school bus transportation the largest public mass transportation system in the United States. School bus operators have traditionally relied on hazard lights and stop arms to get the attention of drivers and ensure the safety of students as they get on or off the bus. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of collisions involving school buses occur every year, leading to an average of more than 10,000 injuries and 100 deaths annually. As roadway collisions, injuries, and fatalities continue to rise nationwide, the need for additional safety tools to protect school bus operators and passengers has become even more urgent. 

Cory Hohs, CEO of HAAS Alert, said that the award demonstrates the US Department of Transportation’s commitment to innovation in safety and connectivity at a critical time. “With more connected vehicles and infrastructure on the road than ever before, there’s an unprecedented opportunity for coordinated efforts between public agencies and private companies to deliver transformational safety solutions on the road. We all believe that children deserve safe passage to and from school, and we’re honored to contribute our efforts to this cause.”