AT&T (NYSE:T) and WebTech Wireless (TSX:WEW), a leading provider of vehicle fleet location-based services (LBS) and telematics technology, have teamed up to help Hanford, California-based Kings Area Rural Transit (KART), improve its rural transportation services.
The contract includes the installation of a fleet management solution in more than 450 KART vanpool vehicles operating in over eight valley counties. Many of these carry farm workers to and from agricultural work sites, operating under the Agricultural Industries Transportation Services (AITS) program. AT&T is the prime contractor and is providing wireless data services.
Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T and WebTech Wireless will provide a wireless vehicle tracking and management solution that supports KART's goals of safety, efficiency and cleaner air. WebTech Wireless GPS Locators installed in each AITS passenger van will send vehicle location and diagnostics data over AT&T's wireless network to the Quadrant fleet management system.
With AT&T wireless service, WebTech Wireless' Quadrant solution provides AITS with a large variety of fleet management tools - many specialized to the needs of worker-driven vanpools operating in rural settings. Several are aimed at improving safety and security, such as detecting poor driving practices, real-time speeding alerts, hands-free voice communication, remote tire pressure and engine diagnostics monitoring, and door unlock telemetry and engine starter enable and disable for theft prevention and recovery. Other Quadrant features facilitate AITS funding source reporting and government compliance, such as push-button transmission of automated driver forms to report Passenger Lane Miles Driven and passenger counts on route, required by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration, and remote CO2 and emissions certification required under California's Smog Check Program.
"The Agricultural Industries Transportation Services program using this fleet management solution from AT&T and WebTech Wireless is perceived as a win-win by its many stakeholders," said Ron Hughes, Executive Director of KART.
"Agricultural workers will benefit from safe, convenient transportation to and from their work at a fraction of the cost of driving their own vehicles, growers are assured a more dependable labor force, and residents of the San Joaquin Valley will benefit from cleaner air. The U.S. Secretaries of Labor and Agriculture are aware of the program and several surrounding counties have asked to join our program," he said.
"This initiative reinforces our commitment to provide innovative solutions that enable our customers to increase efficiency and productivity while also reducing carbon emissions," said Chris Roy, Vice President, AT&T Government and Education. "AT&T is proud to work with the Kings Area Rural Transit on this effort to help enhance safety and improve air quality in the region."
"This application, in conjunction with our partners at AT&T, is further proof of the adaptability and flexibility of the Quadrant solution. While we often think of location-based services and telematics in an urban and highway context, KART is an excellent example of how our technology can improve efficiency and safety, for those living in rural environments, while continuing to make good business sense," said Scott Edmonds, President and CEO of WebTech Wireless.