Earlier this year, we blogged about the four key fleet trends to watch in 2018. Recently, we sat down with some of our forward-thinking fleet experts to ask more about some of these 2018 trends and issues. We answered questions that can help you prepare for the challenges and opportunities for fleet in the coming year.
How are disruptive tech companies impacting personal use vehicles?
Personal use is any use of an employer-provided vehicle that is not for the benefit of the employer’s trade of business, such as personal errands, vacations, use by family members, etc. Most companies allow a bit of leeway for their fleet drivers when it comes to personal use – but that doesn’t mean an employee can moonlight as an Uber driver. Fleet managers need to stay on top of disruptors, like the sharing economy, to ensure their vehicles are not misused.
How will autonomous vehicles affect the fleet management industry?
Autonomous vehicles are no longer a wave of the future. Experts everywhere are analyzing trends and data to gauge how autonomous vehicles will change the industry. Widespread adoption of this technology may be at least five to seven years away, but the industry is already evolving with the rise of telematics, advanced analytics and shared services. Some predicted benefits of an autonomous fleet are:
- Fully autonomous vehicles will revolutionize fleet safety. New autonomous safety features, such as lane departure warnings, steering assists and automatic braking are already making fleets safer today.
- Reduced costs through fewer collisions and insurance related investments
- Fleet maintenance costs will decrease as they become more predictable from controlled acceleration, braking and cornering.
- Without having to actively drive, sales and commercial truck drivers may be able to stay on the road longer.
- Stricter laws for distracted driving can be more easily enforced on autonomous vehicles.
Other predictions from experts include having a separate lane for autonomous vehicles, comprehensive telematics solutions and substantial software improvement to enable vehicles to receive significant enhancements to anticipate all potential scenarios.
How can I get my drivers to become advocates for telematics?
Every breakdown, repair and routine maintenance visit takes your valuable assets off the road. The sooner your drivers and fleet vehicles can get back up and running, the better. Quite often, fleet drivers dislike the idea of being watched, and can be wary of managers installing fleet management tools. Some may even view it as a lack of trust in their abilities, whereas telematics devices are really meant to improve driver safety and boost overall cost-savings for a company.
What can you do?
- It’s now more important than ever to convince drivers that fleet management tools are not meant to catch them doing something wrong. They are geared toward the overall objective of saving money, which can be spent on internal and external improvements.
- Companies don’t often capture data outside of the regular working hours, and some companies even offer their drivers the option to turn the device off (especially in remote areas) after working hours.
- Research shows that, if drivers are aware of the benefits of telematics, they are more likely to improve their own driving performance.
For more information about how Element Fleet Management can help your company, contact us or call (800) 665-9744. To read more about trends affecting the Canadian fleet industry, download our whitepaper.