New preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that as Americans traveled fewer miles due to the pandemic, fatality rates increased.
Overall, during the first nine months of 2020, deaths rose 4.6% despite a 14.5% drop in vehicle miles traveled. During the third quarter of 2020, after states lifted coronavirus lockdowns, the death rate rose 13.1% compared to the same period in 2019.
Drivers may believe that lax law enforcement allows for riskier driving behavior. Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, told the Associated Press: “A big factor here is the lack of enforcement. We are hearing from many states that traffic stops have declined during COVID-19. Drivers feel like they can speed and get away with it,” he said.
Read the article at J.D. Power.
GM unveiled a new business venture, BrightDrop. The company's plan is to create an ecosystem of electric products to be used as delivery vehicles and "last mile" delivery solutions for commercial customers.
The new company will produce multiple vehicles, starting with the EP1, an electric pallet that looks like an oversize library cart with doors. GM envisions the vehicle will help deliver packages from a vehicle to a customer. The electric box on wheels rolls at up to 3 mph while being directed by a courier and can carry up to 200 pounds.
According to GM trials conducted with partner FedEx Express, the EP1 can help deliver 25 percent more packages a day than a delivery driver alone. According to the two companies, couriers said the EP1 was easy to maneuver and reduces strain.
Read the article at Car and Driver.
Merchants Fleet announced the launch of an innovative new vehicle electrification initiative, Electrify Fleet. This initiative will rapidly deploy new electric commercial vehicles into the market with OEM partners and educate clients about the advantages, applications and options available to them as fleet electrification continues to expand.
“We are committed to the future of electrification and developing an extended ecosystem of industry partners to address clients’ biggest electric vehicle needs and electrify their fleets,” said Brendan P. Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet. “Merchants is proud to be at the forefront of fleet innovation, and we look forward to providing our clients with access to a range of electric vehicle solutions that meet their growing needs.”
In conjunction with the launch, Merchants Fleet developed a sophisticated ecosystem of internal and external expertise, which includes a strategic partnership with Lordstown Motors, an Ohio-based original equipment manufacturer of all-electric, light-duty fleet vehicles.
Geotab introduced the availability of its new GO9+ telematics solution, which now includes Wi-Fi connectivity.
The new GO9+ is built upon Geotab’s GO9 device. Released in 2019, this device was designed to help businesses better manage their fleets through improved acceleration tracking, a more accurate GPS and better support for vehicle-generated data and for new vehicle types. The newly added connectivity of GO9+ will allow businesses full visibility of their vehicles in real-time, as well as offering Wi-Fi connectivity for up to four hours with the ignition off, thereby eliminating wasted fuel and greenhouse gas generated when idling for WiFi access.
The GO9+ is ideal for fleets and vehicles of all classes and duties, including heavy truck fleets, rideshare vehicles, small business fleets, ride-for-hire services, buses and even for use as a single-vehicle mobile office. As with all Geotab devices, it is supported by the MyGeotab platform, which provides managers with centralized access to all connected vehicle data.
Donlen announced today its Risk Center is a winner of the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards.
Presented by the Business Intelligence Group, the BIG Innovation Awards recognize organizations, products, and people who bring new ideas to life.
“We are thrilled the Donlen Risk Center is named a winner of the 2021 BIG Innovation Awards,” said Dennis Straight, Donlen chief technology officer. “The Risk Center takes advantage of the vast amounts of data that we create and collect and utilizes AI across that data in an innovative way that helps keep drivers safe. We are proud that it’s being recognized for its industry-first features and capabilities.”