Re-inventing the Largest Form of Mass Transit

HANNAH
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From OEMs, to startups, to tech giants alike, companies are ideating and prototyping the future of autonomous vehicles. We’re growing more comfortable with the idea of driverless transport for ourselves, but what about trusting them with our most precious cargo?

Introducing Hannah: The conceptual, autonomous reinvention of the iconic yellow school bus, a mass transit solution that we, almost blindly, have trusted our children with for over a century.

The illusions of supervision and efficiency.

Our journey began with an in-depth exploration of today’s school bus, which unlike other fleet technology, has remained virtually unchanged since the early 1900’s. With the goal of designing out as many inherently disregarded system flaws as we could, TEAGUE first needed to uncover what these shortcomings were.

We started with our end users: school-aged children. Our designers sat down with a bullying expert from the University of Washington, who explained that thorough adult supervision of 40+ kids by their driver is a myth. In fact, the majority of bullying happens while riding the bus.

TEAGUE then investigated school bus accident data on a federal level. It was there we discovered that between 2006 and 2015, nearly 2/3rds of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes involved school buses.

Finally, we did a deep dive into specific routes, observing their journeys from the lot (where they sit upwards of 94% of the time), to individual stops, to their final destination. It was here our designers unveiled how truly unfair the current day hub-and-spoke model really is to both drivers, students, and parents alike.

Innovation from the inside, out.

This knowledge inspired a complete reimagining of the student transport we know today, starting with two drastic interior design departures: First, Hannah only accommodates six students in each vehicle. We found this to be the ideal number for proper supervision, even when it’s remote. Second, the seats are arranged in a circle, as opposed to the traditional front-facing pattern. This layout fosters community between students, instead of inviting chaos.

Equipped with artificial intelligence, outward-facing door cameras that control access to the vehicle through facial-recognition technology, and a remote fleet monitoring system to supervise everything from emergencies to forgotten backpacks, Hannah is always on, always connected, and always ready to act.

With a smaller size, Hannah forgoes the traditional hub-and-spoke routing system, enabling it to operate point-to-point, picking up every kid directly in front of their residence. This allows for traffic manipulation, rerouting to accommodate parent schedules, and most importantly, increasing safety for kids who otherwise would have had to cross dangerous roads to board.

Practical and profitable.

Hannah is clearly efficient during pickup and drop-off times. But what about during the day? As the US’ largest fleet of public transportation vehicles, school busses spend the majority of their lives sitting in parking lots, un-utilized. They also cost local governments millions of dollars to own and operate each year.

Hannah turns this system on its head by staying in the neighborhoods they serve during the day and cross-functioning as roving Amazon lockers, Starbucks delivery vehicles, or charitable donation bins (just to name a few).

A fresh coat of paint, decades overdue.

Through introducing the Hannah concept to the world, TEAGUE aimed to bring to light the true test of embracing an autonomous future by asking the question,  “Would you trust your child in a driverless car?” while simultaneously debunking the myth of perceived safety and supervision on today’s school busses.

Since its debut, dozens of interested parties from around the world, from auto OEMs, to school boards, to autonomous technology companies have reached out to TEAGUE with the interest of more deeply exploring and contributing to the Hannah ecosystem.

Want to learn more about Hannah? Get in touch with the team behind it at hello@teague.com.

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