July 23, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

The Dizzying Pace of Change

“The pace of change in fleet is as fast as it’s ever been… and as slow as it will ever be,” notes WEX Fleet senior VP and general manager Bernie Kavanagh as he takes us through some of the latest technological advances at WEX. “We’re just getting started,” he says!

Keeping up with technology was the biggest concern among the 120 fleet managers surveyed by TD Bank at this spring’s NAFA I&E. Their concerns are not unwarranted. “The transportation industry is on the brink of a major transformation,” says Anthony Sasso, head of TD Equipment Finance at TD Bank.

How do you cope when your responsibilities increase as your availability shrinks? Brendan Keegan, CEO at Merchant’s Fleet, offers some splendid advice in his video clip: Improving Your Fleet: Break Out of Your Existing Mindset. “Don’t ask how am I going to make my existing model better, but how many other models are out there?”

Advancing our industry through research, education, partnerships and scholarships is the mission of the NAFA Foundation. Please consider sharing your love of fleet this summer by supporting their good works.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Improving Your Fleet: Break Out of Your Existing Mindset

As responsibilities for fleet managers increase; what things should they stop doing?

VIDEO: Auto Driveaway Today

 Auto Driveaway, Nationwide Professional Vehicle Relocation

Auto Driveaway does professional asset relocation, and a whole lot more, including license and title and small upfits.

VIDEO: The Threat of Toxic Mold

 Keeping Toxic Mold Out of Your Fleet Vehicles

Toxic mold inside of vehicles is a bigger threat than you probably realize, but there are preventative programs out there that can help protect your fleet and your drivers.

The Fleet Spot

[Webinar] Cutting Through the Noise: Making Fleet Analytics Work for You

How to Successfully Connect the Dots Between Fleet Data and Decision Making

There’s a difference between just reporting and uncovering business intelligence.

Harness the real power of a fleet tracking solution by using Silent Passenger’s interactive Fleet IQ dashboard. The configurable, real-time updating dashboard delivers actionable data on your mobile workforce, so you can understand how your fleet’s performance impacts your business, customer service, and your bottom line.

SIGN UP for this timely on-demand Webinar from Vehicle Tracking Solutions.

RFP: CAFM Guide Development DOT Module

NAFA Fleet Management Association seeks Subject Matter Experts(SMEs) to write an educational Resource Guide from a detailed outline provided and to create the associated Study Guide for a Department of Transportation (DOT) Module.

Once these reference materials are developed, NAFA intends to add them as a complete module of its Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) certification program.

Bids will be accepted for the entire module, or for individual chapters. Download the RFP here.

Jen Gordon Promoted to Merchant’s Fleet Southeast Sales Team

Merchants Fleet is pleased to announce Jen Gordon has been promoted to a full-time sales role as a Regional Sales Manager for its Southeast Team.

“During my time at Merchants, I’ve greatly enjoyed being able to work alongside our sales teams and deliver innovative solutions to clients,” said Gordon. “Working here has empowered me to grow professionally, and I’m excited to see what the future holds in this new role.”


The IRS and Your Company’s Business Vehicle Program


Companies generally think of visits from the IRS the same way people think of being served a subpoena.

Whether it’s the possibility of an audit, or just … well, anything to do with an audit, not complying with IRS guidelines can be risky. And your vehicle program could be risking it all.

How does this work? Well, it depends on what vehicle program you have.

READ MORE in the Motus blog

Mobile Fuel Payments

By Bernie Kavanagh, Senior Vice President & General Manager, WEX Fleet

With 28 years in the fleet business, I’ve observed how technology has evolved and expanded to meet the diverse needs of businesses with vehicles.

But as we dive into the second half of 2019, one thing is plain: The pace of change in fleet is as fast as it’s ever been… and as slow as it will ever be.

In the span of about three weeks this summer, WEX rolled out payments for EV charges to its 11 million US fleet card holders, doubled its mobile payments network to 25,000 accepting sites and pondered what will happen “When the Car Becomes the Card” at an automotive tech conference in Southern California.

As work to connect the vehicle – and all its data — to your back office continues, the job becomes one of connecting dashboards, giving you an ever-more complete view of your fleet as it operates, visually, in real time.

We’re just getting started. READ MORE


Work Truck Forum

More than 60 percent see autonomous trucks going mainstream within 10 years

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Keeping up with rapid changes in automotive technology is the greatest challenge facing the transportation industry this year, according to a survey of 120 fleet managers conducted by TD Bank at the NAFA Fleet Management Association Institution & Expo held in Louisville, Kentucky, earlier this year.

Some 52 percent of the respondents identified technological change as their biggest challenge, compared to 21 percent who said it’s the driver shortage. These concerns dwarfed others that have grabbed headlines recently: just 13 percent said their biggest worry is a potential economic slowdown, while only 8 percent pointed to disruption caused by e-commerce, and 6 percent said it is changing foreign trade policies.

“The transportation industry is on the brink of a major transformation,” said Anthony Sasso, Head of TD Equipment Finance at TD Bank. “Traditionally, the industry has been defined by trucks and infrastructure, but the use of mobile devices, GPS and electronics have revolutionized logistics.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate that transportation companies will invest heavily in innovation to help fleets optimize routes, better track inventory and produce more fuel-efficient and driverless vehicles.”



Fleet Spectator

One last mile delivery service fleet achieved a stunning 81 percent reduction in collisions

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The war against distracted driving has largely focused on cell phones and fleets have taken a variety of approaches to prevent it, from changing their policies to ban cell-phone use, to intensive messaging on its dangers, classroom and online driver training, and cell-phone blocking technology. To some extent or another, they all may have some effect, and all fleets need to pursue them. One big problem, though, is that using a cell phone to talk or text isn’t the only form of distraction.

In fact, distracted driving long predates the advent of digital technology. Before cell phones and lap top computers, there were many other actions that could take a driver’s eyes off the road long enough to lead to a collision, and all of them still exist. These include, but are not limited to, adjusting radio and climate controls, reaching for objects inside the cabin, reading, eating, grooming, talking to passengers, drowsiness, or simply gazing at the passing scenery.

One thing going for fleets that ban cell phone use while driving is that when someone is on the phone, there’s a record at the service provider that can be checked.


Fleet Trends & Issues

AAA Study Evaluates Vehicle Emergency Escape Tools

AAA NewsRoom

Vehicle escape tools are intended to aid occupants in exiting their vehicle in an emergency by breaking through side windows and cutting through locked seat belts.

This study by AAA evaluates the performance of common consumer-grade vehicle escape tools to inform drivers about how, when and why they should be used. In addition, it examines the use of laminated glass for automotive side windows and how it could impact an occupant’s ability to escape during an emergency.

Read the article at AAA NewsRoom.

How Dangerous is Stoned Driving?

The Guardian

Nobody recommends driving while high.

Alcohol makes drivers more aggressive and accident-prone, while drivers who are high are more likely to drive too slowly. Studies by NHTSA suggest this is broadly correct.

While it’s generally illegal to drive while high, it’s not clear if stoned driving is a serious problem.

Read the article at The Guardian.

Home EV Charging May Persuade Car Buyers to Go Electric

The New York Times

The availability of convenient home charging equipment and high-tech roadside charging facilities will make electric driving more practical.

Over 80 percent of electric vehicle owners charge at home, taking advantage of low, stable residential electricity rates. Since most electric vehicle owners don’t drive over 200 miles on a normal day, the battery isn’t fully drained by evening. Refilling it on a Level 2 charger can take just a few hours.

Read the article at The New York Times.

The Importance of Continuous Education for Fleet Personnel

By Adlore Chaudier, Associate Vice President, Mercury Associates

The rapidity with which technological advancements occur and studies produce important insights increasingly requires professionals to invest significant time in continuous education. Fleet managers are no exception.

Failure to make such an investment will inevitably result in falling short of achieving job goals and objectives and present an unnecessary barrier to professional advancement and personal success.


Autonomous Vehicles


Several carmakers and technology companies have concluded that making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought.

About 80% of the technology needed to put self-driving cars into routine use has been developed, but the remaining 20%, including developing software that can reliably anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are going to do, will be much more difficult.

The technology is available now to create a car that will not hit anything. But such a car would constantly slam on the brakes.

“You see all kinds of crazy things on the road, and it turns out they’re not all that infrequent; you have to be able to handle all of them,” Argo Chief Executive Bryan Salesky said. “With radar and high-resolution cameras and all the computing power we have, we can detect and identify the objects on a street. The hard part is anticipating what they’re going to do next.”

Read the article at SFGate.


Self-Driving Updates

The Washington Post

Tesla is promising to launch “full self-driving” capabilities to hundreds of thousands of cars through an over-the-air update as soon as this year.

Regulators, auto industry executives, safety advocacy group leaders and autonomous-vehicle competitors are concerned that Tesla’s plan to unleash robo-cars on the road on an expedited timeline could result in crashes, lawsuits and confusion.

“By the middle of next year, we’ll have over a million Tesla cars on the road with full self-driving hardware,” with the ability to find the vehicle owners, drive them to their destination and park the vehicle, Elon Musk said at Tesla’s Autonomy Investor Day in April. It will be at “a reliability level that we would consider that no one needs to pay attention … meaning you could go to sleep.”

Read the article at The Washington Post.


Safety & Risk

By: Ben Langley, Director of Training Development and Innovation at Driving Dynamics

Maintaining a safe fleet is an ongoing process and there’s no one-size fits all solution for improving drivers’ skills and behaviors.

And it’s certainly not uncommon to believe that training and coaching are interchangeable forms of instruction. However, while different, both methods are necessary for reducing incidents, injuries and fatalities, because each has its strength when it comes to addressing specific aspects of driving safety. Understanding the distinction will positively impact the effectiveness of your driver safety program.

The drivers in your fleet have different backgrounds, life histories, and are at different levels of driving experience and each company also has its own unique set of circumstances. All these factors can help determine when training or coaching courses or a blend of both, is the right fit for your organization and the best approach for addressing specific driver deficiencies and enhancing overall competencies of the fleet. Consistently educating drivers of all experience levels and reinforcing safe driving skills and behaviors assures that your fleet will have a strong foundation of safety.


Fleet Management Resources


Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

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.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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