April 2, 2019

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Electrifying Your Fleet!

Earlier this year, FMW was in London for Fleet World’s Great British Fleet Event where Steffano Peduzzi, Geotab’s European director of engineering, gave an engaging presentation on fleet electrification.

Editor Andrew Boada briefs us on Peduzzi’s smart presentation in Geotab: Managing the Three Phases of Electrification. Want to know more about fleet electrification? On Mobility Day at the upcoming NAFA I&E, check out this session: Waiting Until Electric Vehicles Show a Positive ROI? That Time is NOW

Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Scientist Advisor, writes about the addiction impairing your drivers. “What is a fleet manager to do given the known risks of phone use while driving? The first step is to stop thinking about them as phones, but instead look at them as a substance delivery system.”

The FMW team is looking forward to seeing you at NAFA I&E in just a few short days!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Leveraging Fleet Experts: Specialized Teams

Merchants Fleet offers the benefit of leveraging specialized teams of experts, when and where their clients need them. That results in powerful insights that help clients make continual improvements to their fleets.



VIDEO: AFLA’s 50th Anniversary

 Big Bash in Store for AFLA’s 50th at the Arizona Grand

This year, the AFLA conference celebrates its 50th anniversary at the Arizona Grand in Phoenix, and a lot of great activities are in store. Don’t miss the special anniversary party, called “Boots and Bowties,” the day before the conference.

VIDEO: Electric Vehicles

 Freeing Fleets from Fossil Fuels

The mission of Motiv Power Systems is to free fleets from fossil fuels. And a new partnership allowing them to use BMW’s lithium ion batteries helps to further that mission.

The Fleet Spot

Bleisure Travel Doesn’t Have To Make Expenses Complicated

By Mike Reinlein

WEX Blog

According to the 2019 Travel Trends and Expectations Survey by WEX and Mastercard, the line between business and leisure travel continues to blur.

The survey, which polled over 1,500 U.S. travelers, shows that more than half (55%) of respondents who traveled for business in the past year extend their trips to include personal time.

While these trends create opportunities for employers to attract new talent, they also create challenges for corporate travel departments. With combined business and personal travel, managing expenses and reimbursements can get complicated.


Understanding the Consequences of Driving Overloaded Vehicles

By Christopher Lyon, Director of Fleet Relations, NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry

Fleet professionals are tasked with providing safe, reliable and compliant vehicles for their organization.

In many cases, fleet professionals that design these work trucks only have indirect control and/or input on how these vehicles are used after being placed in service. One of the biggest concerns is understanding the consequences of operating overloaded vehicles.

This includes drivability issues, reliability and maintenance concerns, and the regulatory impacts and liability risks associated with operating overloaded vehicles.


Merchants Fleet Launches Innovation Department

Merchants Fleet has launched its Innovation Department and hired Lisa Bonacci as its Director of Innovation.

The Innovation Department is dedicated to providing resources to further develop the skills, behaviors, and processes needed to continue to drive the best possible client experience and be an active partner in their success. The new department, led by Bonacci, expands the company’s resources dedicated to driving innovation in the fleet management space.

In her role, Bonacci will oversee and support a wide range of efforts taking place at Merchants Fleet to collect and nurture ideas, test and prototype technology and services, establish norms of collaboration, and give groups the tools for creative problem-solving.

After Adding 5,304 Vehicles, De Blasio Says He Will Trim City Fleet

New York Post

New York City Mayor De Blasio signed an order Thursday to trim the city’s vehicle fleet over the next two years — but the cut of 1,000 would barely put a dent in the 5,304 he has added since his election.

“We’re going to tell everyone, use fewer vehicles, use fewer cars when you can — we’re going to start with the public fleet. Today’s announcement is all about we’re really making sense of how many vehicles we need and not having a single vehicle more,” said De Blasio.

Read the article at New York Post.

Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

While brand marketers for consumer companies exploit the new web-created opportunities to capture buyers’ attention, B2B marketers have had good reason to wait.

The general consensus is that digital marketing comprises corporate website and repetitive corporate messaging placed in banner advertising and in social media posts, tweets, and photos.

As a marketing manager for a provider of B2B products or services, you know that the first question your executives will ask is “Where’s the value?” Are you really going to explain marketing value based on LinkedIn “Connections,” Facebook “likes,” or Twitter “followers,”? Not likely! It’s hard enough explaining the value of traditional advertising measures like cost-per-thousand, impressions, awareness and perceptions.



Globally Speaking

By Andrew Boada, Editor at Large

Thinking of converting your entire fleet to zero-emission, all-electric Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)?

If so, according to the Canadian telematics company Geotab, the process has three distinct phases, each of which is marked by a distinct set of management considerations and optimized by using data fleets can best obtain from a fleet-wide telematics system.

That was the message fleet professionals heard from Steffano Peduzzi, Geotab’s European director of engineering at the Great British Fleet Event in London earlier this year, where fleet electrification was a major topic of discussion.



An ‘Addiction’ Not Safe for Driving

By Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Scientist Advisor

Imagine one day that you, the fleet safety manager, receive a report about your drivers that reveals that about 1 in 10 of your drivers is addicted to a substance that, when used, significantly impairs their ability to drive safely.

And further imagine the report also tells you that almost all of the remaining drivers are probably not “addicted” in the clinical sense, but they are highly compelled to take the same substance while driving and admit they keep the substance in their vehicles and also admit to occasional use.

This is that report. For a little more than a decade since the release of the iPhone, Silicon Valley has been finding ways to increase the degree to which the “phones” and apps are able to grab and hold the attention of their owners. Some very bright people do careful work to enhance the psychological compulsion to use our smart devices constantly.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Your Car is Watching – Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

The New York Times

When fully autonomous vehicles begin cruising on public roads, they will have to be able to detect when people enter or exit a vehicle, who the person is, whether they have left anything behind in the car, and especially if a person has become disabled (because of intoxication or a medical emergency).

New safety concerns have prompted technology for cameras that recognize facial expressions, sensors that detect heart rates and software that assesses a driver’s state of awareness are increasingly viewed as part of an inevitable driving future. Eventually technology could be able to judge the emotional state of people in the car.

Read the article at The New York Times.

Salvaged Telsa Reveals Unencrypted Crash Footage, Navigation Data, and More

The Verge

Two security researchers and self-described “white hat hackers” found a trove of unencrypted location, camera, and other data on a wrecked Tesla Model 3

When they accessed the car’s computer, they found unencrypted data from “at least 17 different devices.

Newer vehicles are able to store a ton of both personal and vehicle data. Tesla’s cars tend to collect and store more vehicle data because they’re outfitted with more sensors. But as cars are outfitted with ever more sensors and computers, those that have been sold or crashed now contain far more granular data about an owner than what’s generated over a few days in a rental.

Read the article at The Verge.

First Responders Face Unfamiliar Challenges With Electric Vehicle Fires


Lithium-ion batteries inside electric vehicles, once ignited, can’t be put out with chemicals from a conventional extinguisher. The battery fires are susceptible to a self-destructive chain reaction known as thermal runaway, causing a feedback loop of rising temperatures.

Safety experts say the only way to extinguish a lithium-ion battery inside a car is with thousands of gallons of water, much more than what it takes to stop a fire in a typical gasoline engine. The other option is to just let it burn itself out.

Read the article at Bloomberg.

VW and Ford to Develop Pickup Truck, Autonomous Driving and Mobility Talks Continue


Volkswagen has signed a contract with Ford to develop a successor to its VW Amarok pickup truck.

Ford has a platform for its Ranger midsized pickup truck, which could help VW lower development costs.

VW and Ford continue discussions about extending its alliance to include autonomous driving and mobility services. Ford bought Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup, in 2017, but with spiraling development costs for autonomous cars in recent years, the company and other carmakers have sought alliances and outside investors.

Read the article at Reuters.

Speed-Limiting Technology

The New York Times

The European Union plans to require speed-limiting and emergency braking technology in all new car models starting in 2022, along with dozens of other technical features to improve road safety.

The speed-limiting technology, called intelligent speed assistance, uses video cameras, satellite location data or both to detect when drivers go over the speed limit, and curbs their ability to speed up further by restricting engine power. Drivers can override the system, depending on the model, by pressing harder on the gas pedal, for example.

Read the article at New York Post.


Fleet Specator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

In light of the two recent Boeing 737 Max disasters, I’m finding it both ironic and a bit troubling that passenger airlines’ success with automating flights is so often held up as a paradigm for the advent of self-driving vehicles.

OK, so it’s been proven over and over again that we’re all safer flying in a commercial jetliner than driving our cars. I get it. But the Boeing case shows that when big companies rush to outdo the competition, errors in the long chain of events leading to production and rollout can be overlooked not just by manufacturers’ engineers, but by regulators entrusted with our safety.



Work Truck Forum

The transportation industry is evolving, and it’s imperative that fleet companies adapt to remain successful

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The e-commerce boom is changing the face of the commercial trucking industry, ever-increasing volumes of consumers’ purchases being delivered to their doorstep. In this interview, Anthony Sasso, head of TD Bank Equipment Finance discusses these trends and offers insights into how trucking companies can respond cost-effectively as they finance the reshaping of their fleets.


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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