Zonar Systems hit with firmware glitch affecting school bus fleet management devices

2010 Zonar Handheld Inspection Device (Zonar Systems Photo)

Zonar Systems, a Seattle-based company that provides electronic fleet inspection and tracking systems for public and private fleets, experienced a firmware glitch on Thursday affecting a significant number of its devices.

Ben Hohmann, a Zonar spokesperson, confirmed the glitch and said the company is working to fix it. The issue is affecting Zonar’s 2010 Electronic Inspection Device, which is used primarily for school bus safety inspections.

Hohmann described the device as Zonar’s “legacy product.” It debuted more than a decade ago and is equipped with Zonar’s EVIR software (Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting) that uses RFID technology.

The devices are older and can’t be immediately updated over-the-air. Zonar declined to say how many devices were affected. The company is working on “formulating an individualized plan” so that customers using the 2010 devices can get the update within a couple of days, Hohmann said.

“Is it a significant number of devices? Sure,” Hohmann said. “But it’s not a major proportion of the devices that we have out there.”

Zonar has millions of other IoT monitoring devices in operation.

We’ve asked if the glitch is related to the date changeover from 2019 to 2020, and we’ll update this story as we learn more information.

Founded in 2001, Zonar provides GPS and telematics hardware and software solutions for fleets across a variety of industries such as construction, transportation, utility, and more. The idea is to use hardware and software to help fleet operators save money on fuel, improve maintenance, and increase safety.

German automotive giant Continental acquired a majority stake in Zonar in 2016.

Zonar recently hired former Oracle and Hewlett-Packard veteran Michael Gould as its chief operating officer.

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