December 11, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Pathways to the Future

When we heard that GM plans to launch a fully autonomous, self-driving car in 2019, we were excited! Could an AV fleet be far behind? Not so fast, says editor Andrew Boada in his commentary: 5 Reasons Fleets Won’t Be Buying Autonomous Vehicles Any Time Soon.

Bernie Kavanagh poses a disquieting question in Building the Future of Fleet: Are We There Yet?: “Sure, your vehicles might be autonomous, dutifully following all your rules on fueling, idling and safety without a coffee break. But what if they get hacked?”

Machine learning is the topic of John Wysseier’s Disruptive Leadership column. He asserts, “Competition in the business world will depend more and more on the extent to which companies harness machine learning and the related digital tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

Thought Leadership

Customer Driven — Engage your organization to create customer loyalty, trust, and superior service

Disruptive Leadership — Master the principles of disruptive leadership

Fleet Asset Management – Best practices for work truck management

Fleet Marketing – Guiding principles for fleet providers to improve marketing and increase sales

Fleet Spectator A 360 view of the fleet industry

Globally Speaking — Perspectives on the multinational fleet

In the Public Interest — Successfully managing the government fleet

Managing the Reimbursed Fleet — Expert strategies to manage mobile employees

On Fleet Driver Management Solutions to improve your fleet’s accident rate and cut costs on collision repairs

Safety & Risk — Impactful driver safety and risk management tools and techniques

Talent Management — Smart guidelines to help you manage the talent in your workplace


VIDEO: Fast, Effective Driver Training Microlessons

With DrivActiv microlessons from Driving Dynamics your drivers get great safety training in only 3 to 4 minutes – and by requiring these microlessons at regular intervals you can make sure that drivers are getting constant reminders to stay safe on the roads.

VIDEO: Women in Fleet Management

 From Fleet Manager to Service Provider

This fleet professional went from strategic sourcing to fleet management to service provider – and she knows all about the importance of being best in class.

VIDEO: Fuel Cards

 Fuel Expense Insights – Straight to Your Inbox

WEX recently rolled out ClearView Snap, which provides a quick snapshot of your company’s fueling activity in easy-to-interpret charts and graphs.

The Fleet Spot

Madelaine Webster Named Business Development Manager at Fleet Logistics UK

Fleet Logistics UK (FLUK) has opted for experience with the appointment of long-serving industry professional, Madelaine Webster, as its new Business Development Manager.

Webster has more than 13 years’ experience in the fleet market, having previously carried out various roles at Glasgow-based Fleet Alliance and worked in partnership with the fleet arm of the Expense Reduction Analysts.


5 Common Fleet Upfitting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Chad Christensen, Strategic Consultant, Element Fleet Management

Upfitting is an integral part of ensuring service fleet drivers can accomplish their jobs, but it is one of the most challenging aspects of fleet management.

To help optimize the upfitting process, the Element strategic consulting team put together a guide for avoiding common upfitting mistakes.


NAFA Names New Members to Board of Directors

NAFA’s Nominating Committee has completed its work and selected four candidates to fill the expiring terms of current members of the Board of Directors. The committee selected:

  • David Hayward, Deloitte (Re-nominated; currently serves on the Board as Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Robert Mossing, Steris Corporation
  • Adam Seifert, CAFM®, ARI
  • Mark A. Smith, CAFM®, Element Fleet Management


PARS: 20 Years of Solving Customer Problems, from the Simple to the Very Complex

“At everything we do, we do the best we can”

By Mark Boada, Executive

Back in 1998, when Jim Christiano retired from a long career at General Motors, he created a new company to serve the needs of automotive fleets looking to relocate their vehicles. He called it, simply enough, PARS – short for Professional Automobile Relocation Service – and set up shop in Gainesville, Virginia, some 35 miles west of Washington, D.C. As Jim puts it, the idea was simple: to move vehicles from Point A to B.


Disruptive Leadership

By John F. Wysseier, President and Chief Executive Officer, The CEI Group, Inc.

Of all the technological advances mankind has achieved over the millennia that have changed the way we live and work, Machine Learning (ML) may well prove to be the one with the most powerful and disruptive effects.

And while one application – autonomous vehicles – is still in its infancy, ML applications in many other business applications are already here and more are on the way.

ML grew out of the computer science of artificial intelligence (AI). Broadly speaking, AI refers to computers programmed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, like recognizing images and speech and making decisions. As remarkable as that is, ML goes one step further: it creates computers that can learn from experience and actually improve their performance.



The Future Fleet

When the future fleet arrives, will it be an improvement?

By Bernie Kavanagh

Sure, your vehicles might be autonomous, dutifully following all your rules on fueling, idling and safety without a coffee break. But what if they get hacked?

You like the lower emissions from your EV vehicles … even if you can’t figure out how much you’re spending on a charge, or how to do any of your usual fuel management reporting.

And of course we’ll all love swipeless, cardless payments — until we find out fraudsters have caught up with the innovation.



Fleet Spectator

By Andrew Boada, Editor at Large

Sometimes, we get overcome with excitement when it appears that the high-tech future we have been dreaming of has finally arrived.

It looks like 2019 is going to be one of those times, for that is when, after years of breathless anticipation, one OEM – in this case, GM – says its fully autonomous, self-driving car, will finally, actually and, by many accounts, well ahead of schedule, will be here.

But I have one balloon-popping, rain-on- the- parade question to pose: Will you – Mr. or Ms. fleet manager – be ponying up to buy an autonomous vehicle (AV) next year? I think not. In fact, I think no fleet manager will be seriously considering making a self-driving vehicle their go-to acquisition for many years to come.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Preparation Made the Difference in How Quickly Alaska Fixed its Earthquake-Shattered Roads

The Verge

The earthquake hit on Friday morning at 8:29AM local time. By the next Wednesday at 4AM, all eight major transportation corridors that had been severely damaged by the quake had re-opened.

The rapid response to damage in Anchorage shows how investing time and money into preparations for these kinds of large, infrastructure-hobbling events can pay off in the long-run, even when there’s no way to tell when or where disaster may strike.

Read the article at The Verge.

Experts Say Killing Electric Car Tax Credit Would Punish Consumers and Hurt Economy

Consumer Reports

Trump may be trying to punish General Motors with his threat to kill a federal subsidy for electric vehicles, but it might be consumers who would feel the most pain, auto experts say.

Eliminating the $7500 tax credit would slow the EV market by making vehicles more expensive, says David Reichmuth, a senior engineer in the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Automakers are still going to invest in dozens of new electric models to sell in markets such as Europe and China, Reichmuth says.

Read the article at Consumer Reports.

Ford Motor and Volkswagen Considering Far-Reaching Alliance


At a time when the global automotive industry is facing not only traditional competitive challenges but the risks posed by massive technological transformation, Ford Motor and Volkswagen plan to announce an alliance shortly after the new year.

Among the key elements expected to be part of the deal will be a cooperative effort to bring to market electrified and autonomous vehicles, something each of the companies already has spent billions of dollars developing. Talks included the possibility of taking over one of the American company’s existing, underutilized assembly plants and that VW could wind up sharing more than one plant with Ford.

Read the article at CNBC.

Mistakes Made in Fuel Economy Calculations Nullify Trump-Proposed Gains

The Detroit Bureau

The Trump administration has emphasized that rolling back the fuel economy and emissions standards would save money and help insure that new vehicles are affordable, which would increase sales of cleaner and safer vehicles. Environmentalist claim that the administration was mis-representing the work of outside analysts that it cited in support of the rollback.

“These independent researchers are demonstrating what we’ve long suspected: the Trump administration used every trick it could to try and justify its plan to halt progress on tailpipe pollution,” said Luke Tonachel, director for clean vehicles and clean fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The fact is that the rollback makes no sense. We get more confirmation of that fact every day.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.



Volkswagen announced that it will have the capacity to build up to 15 million electric cars over several years and is investing more than $12.5 billion into electric and autonomous vehicles by 2023.

VW plans to have 27 electrical vehicle (EV) models in production by the end of 2022, with cars under the Volkswagen, Audi, and Skoda brands. VW has said that it is also building an alliance with Ford and might use that company’s plants to build vehicles in the United States. The company is currently converting multiple of its European factories to build EVs rather than combustion engine cars.

Read the article at Fortune.


More Than Just Telematics

By Ed Dubens, CEO & Founder, eDriving

Telematics technology is largely credited with changing fleet management.

In fact, a quick search of telematics online suggests that it is a vital part of fleet management, that monitoring drivers is increasingly accepted, and that telematics provides fleet managers with the information they need, when they want it and how they want to digest it.

Yet, as technology adoption becomes more and more commonplace for fleets and having personally witnessed some of the world’s largest fleets successfully reduce the number of collisions, injuries and license violations, as well as their total cost of ownership (TCO), I have an insight to share with fleet managers: telematics alone is not enough!



Cars Aren’t Dead


Results from a new consumer study conducted by CarGurus suggests the market for passenger cars may actually be growing.

“This survey showed that consumer interest in buying sedans is not waning as much as recent automotive industry changes have indicated,” said Madison Gross, Senior Manager of Customer Insights at CarGurus, in a statement. “The positive response from younger drivers expressing their intent to buy sedans is a sign of confidence that this traditional body style could remain relevant for years to come.”

Read the article at Forbes.

Fleet Management Resources
AFLA – Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association
Providing the advanced forum for corporate fleet professionals to network with industry leaders.
The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.
NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
Since 1965, Donlen has been the fleet management industry’s leading provider of comprehensive, integrated financing and asset management solutions — and that spirit of innovation continues today.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.
Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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