Fleets and technology: Connecting to an exciting future

Written by Ellie

New developments will have far-reaching effects for the way fleets are operated. Andrew Ryan asks leading suppliers and organisations for their opinions…

Matthew Walters, head of consultancy services, LeasePlan UK

In-vehicle wireless connectivity is expanding rapidly from luxury models to high-volume, mid-market ones.

It’s predicted one in five vehicles will have some kind of wireless network connection by 2020 which will account for more than a quarter of a billion cars on the roads, globally.

For fleets, connected car technology has the potential allow us to understand almost every aspect of a vehicle’s operation in real time, including speed, acceleration and deceleration, mapping, engine performance and fuel usage, among many other factors.

Combining this intelligence to services available to the driver, along with predictive analytics, will completely transform the fleet management industry.

For example, in identifying peaks and dips in the fuel efficiency of each vehicle, driver behaviour that might be uneconomical could be addressed, ultimately improving efficiency.

Measurements from hydraulics and data from sensors could also help identify maintenance issues and mechanical problems before they even occur, ultimately reducing vehicle downtime and increasing the productivity and reliability of a fleet.

The technology also has the potential to determine whether the driver is distracted or tired, what their heart rate is and ultimately whether they are in a healthy state to drive. All of which could vastly reduce driver-related incidents and insurance premiums.

For some, connected car innovation may still seem like it’s in its infancy but, as we see the worlds of technology and automotive intertwine, fuelled by legislative initiatives, the future may be closer than you think.

John Pryor, chairman of ACFO

The connected car and the generation of so-called ‘big data’ is set to change the long-established fleet management model, particularly in respect of vehicle service, maintenance and repair (SMR), and driver behaviour.

However, as cars become ever-more intelligent and the ‘computers on wheels’ have the capability to deliver vast amounts of data there are huge concerns that impact dramatically on fleet managers and company car drivers.

As a result, ACFO is urging fleet operators to ensure that when they are in discussions with their manufacturer partners and vehicle leasing suppliers that the issue of ‘big data’ and everything that it entails is on the agenda at review time.

It is vital motor manufacturers and the contract hire and leasing sector engage with ACFO as, ultimately, the association’s members are their customers.

As a result, ACFO has already asked members to provide their views and concerns.

Today’s connectivity is the start of the journey towards the autonomous car and there are risks to be overcome, but opportunities that will, ACFO believes, deliver fleet operating benefits.

Read the full article on Fleet News

Posted on 16th March 2017

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