September 24, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

It Was a Very Good Conference!

Mark Boada pens the first in a series of articles about the recently-concluded and remarkably successful AFLA 2019 Conference. This week, Boada features the panel discussion: Unpacking the Complex Transformation of Fleet Management to Mobility Solutions.

Adlore Chaudier talks to the challenges facing federal fleets in the wake of the Trump administration’s move to decentralize fleet administration. Chaudier says, “…a move…which flies in the face of proof that centralized fleet management is a better approach.”

In Driver Retention: Good for the Bottom Line, Shannon McNamara offers guidance on tools fleets can use to overcome the perennial driver shortage. A key point: it’s not just pay; drivers need to feel engaged by their work.

Is fleet safety on your radar? There’s still time to register for NETS Annual Strength in Numbers® Safety Benchmark Conference.

FMW congratulates all the fleet professionals honored with awards at the AFLA Conference. Well done!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: With Mentor from eDriving, Driver Safety Improves Quickly

Within just a couple of weeks, Mentor by eDriving and its validated FICO Safe Driving Score can make significant improvements to driver safety.

VIDEO: Finding the Right Telematics Solution

 Making the Right Telematics Choice: A Broader Understanding of What’s Available

It’s easier to make just the right choice when it comes to telematics if you have a good understanding of the various options available. As an authorized reseller, EnVue Telematics has a broad understanding of the many choices that are out there.

VIDEO: Understanding Mobility

 Understanding Mobility – So That We Can Get Ahead of It

It’s a confusing time for fleet managers who are trying to define what mobility means for their organizations, and AFLA is working hard to help all of us reach a better understanding.

The Fleet Spot

AFLA Celebrates!

AFLA celebrated its 50th anniversary in style at its 2019 Annual Corporate Fleet Conference in Phoenix last week.

In addition to the fine educational sessions, dynamic networking and engaging keynote speakers, AFLA honored some of the industry’s brightest and best.

Erin Gilchrist, director of fleet for Safelite AutoGlass, was this year’s winner of the Fleet Manager of the Year award and Kenneth Jack, VP of fleet operations at Verizon, was honored as Fleet Executive of the Year.

AFLA celebrated four new inductees to AFLA’s Fleet Hall of Fame: Theresa Rogazine, recently retired VP for fleet procurement at Johnson & Johnson; Joe LaRosa, former SVP at Merck for global fleet management; and two late industry leaders, Bud Morrison, AFLA’s first president, and Bob Miesen, one-time SVP GE Capital Fleet and the originator of floating rate fleet finance.

AFLA’s Fleet Visionary Award, sponsored by Merchants Fleet Management, recognized new voices in fleet management.

And the Fleet Vilsionary winners are…

NETS Annual Strength IN Numbers® Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference

Arlington, VA: October 9-10, 2019 — Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel

NETS annual conference is an opportunity to share road safety case studies, new research, and emerging issues with employer road safety peers. Conference participants include companies from diverse industries, representing a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually.

This year’s conference agenda and topic selection is shaping up to be one of NETS most comprehensive on record.

There is still time to register!

eDriving Wins Fleet Safety Product Category in Brake’s Australasian Fleet Safety Awards

The award was presented for eDriving’s innovative smartphone-based fleet driver risk management solution, Mentor by eDrivingSM.

“It’s fantastic to see our risk management product, Mentor, continue to excite our customers worldwide and in particular in the Australasian market where we have been working locally now for over 10 years in partnership with Zurich Risk Engineering supporting their customers’ primary safety mission – to help protect their drivers while driving for work purposes. Exciting day at eDriving – ripper!” said Cory Fee, eDriving’s Vice President, Customer Success, AMEA.


Vehicle Lightweighting: A Critical Path to Success

By Steve Spata, Technical Assistance Director, NTEA

Vehicle operations are no exception to the continuous improvement goal of doing more while spending less.

Reducing vehicle weight provides organizations with opportunities to keep enhancing operational efficiencies.

As driver regulations (such as electronic data logging for hours of service and other qualifications) increase, the trend to downsize into vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less (Class 1–2) continues.


Keeping Those Drivers

By Shannon McNamara

One of the best ways to combat the driver shortage is by working to retain drivers. While money is important, a fleet culture that values and respects drivers may be even more crucial.

One of the most important ways fleets can overcome the perennial driver shortage is to find ways to retain the drivers they have.

Fleets across the country are instituting a wide variety of programs to hang on to what has become its most precious commodity — drivers — including better pay.

While there’s little doubt that pay is an important factor contributing to both the driver shortage and the ability to hold onto drivers, fleets need to do more than simply offer bonuses or raises: Drivers need to feel engaged by their work.



In the Public Interest

By Adlore Chaudier Ph.D., CFFM, Associate Vice President, Federal Fleet Consulting Services, Mercury Associates

Last year, the Trump administration reversed a decades-old trend toward the centralization of federal agency fleet administration, a move that may prove to be problematic because of a lack of strategic expertise at the agency level to improve fleet operational efficiency and which flies in the face of proof that centralized fleet management is a better approach.

Centralization of fleet management authority and responsibility characterizes best-in-class fleet management programs. Fleet management has become a line of business for most organizations, and upper-level management has increasingly understood that fleet-user needs can typically be met more cost effectively through a consolidated approach to fleet management.

The clear trend in the industry has been and remains toward more rather than less consolidation. And to varying degrees, most public sector organizations have developed a centralized fleet management program.



Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Editor’s note: Below is an edited and abridged transcript of a panel discussion at the 2019 AFLA conference, held in mid-September. The moderator was Mary Sticha, former AFLA president; the panelists were Brendan Keegan, CEO at Merchants Fleet Management; John Korte, Vice President of Mobility Business Development at Donlen, and Ahsan Rahim, COO at Wheels, Inc. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Sticha: What are the driving forces behind the movement toward mobility?

Korte: The new mobility is about connectivity, autonomous vehicles, shared mobility and electric vehicles. The ultimate goals for the autonomous electric vehicle are to eliminate crashes, eliminate emissions from the environment and increase vehicle utilization. As we know, typical consumer vehicle utilization rate is in the low single digits and the goal of shared vehicles is to increase that rate.


Fleet Trends & Issues

‘Busted!’ — Australian State Catching Texting Drivers


An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists.

New South Wales Roads Minister Andrew Constance said Monday that Australia’s most populous state is the first jurisdiction in the world to use such technology to punish drivers distracted by social media, text messages or phone calls.

“There is no doubt drink-driving as far as I’m concerned is on a par with mobile phone use, and that’s why we want everyone to be aware that you’re going to get busted doing this anytime, anywhere,” Constance told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Read the article at USA TODAY

Highway Sounds of the Future

The New York Times

As electric cars become more popular, engineers, driven by government regulators, are crafting the sounds that will define the highways of the future.

Two years ago, Nissan hired the studio Man Made Music for what seemed like a straightforward task: Design a sound that its quiet electric vehicles could play to announce themselves on the road.

The automaker wasn’t just splurging on a flashy feature. It was preparing for a federal regulation set to take effect next year that would require all hybrid and electric vehicles, which are quieter than their gas-guzzling ancestors, to emit noise at certain speeds for pedestrian safety

Read the article at The New York Times

Global Demand for EVs Accelerates

The Detroit Bureau

U.S. Department of Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao derided EVs as “cars that American consumers do not want to buy or drive.”

True, all forms of electrified vehicles – from conventional hybrids up to pure battery-electric models – account for barely 5% of the U.S. market, but those numbers have been surging. Demand for plug-based models alone rose 5%, to 200,194, during the first eight months of this year, despite the overall downturn in the American market.

According to industry data, global demand is accelerating at a far more rapid pace and, in several markets, EVs are beginning to dominate conventionally powered vehicles.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau

AI System Completely Inspects a Vehicle in Seconds

Car and Driver

A small Israeli company called UVeye has created a smart-machine inspection service that should help end those nasty damage arguments at the rental-car return counter.

“It started out as a smuggling and bomb-detection inspection system,” explains CEO Amir Hever. Then it leapt over to the auto industry. Hever tells us that his artificial-intelligence-based system can fully inspect a moving car in three to four seconds for any kind of fluid leak and for dents or defects as small as 0.08 inch. That’s very significantly faster than a human can inspect a vehicle.

So carmakers, fleet operators, suppliers, auto dealers, insurance companies, and rental and lease companies should be very interested in the two-year-old company’s technology.

Read the article at Car and Driver

Brexit Fears


Europe’s carmakers published a joint statement demanding that the European Union (EU) and Britain forsake a ‘no deal’ Brexit because the consequences would be catastrophic.

“The U.K.’s departure from the EU without a deal would trigger a seismic shift in trading conditions, with billions of euros of tariffs threatening to impact consumer choice and affordability on both sides of the Channel. The end of barrier-free trade could bring harmful disruption to the industry’s just-in-time operating mode,” the statement said.

PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said, “With a no-deal (Brexit) you are going to destroy the lives of the next generation of people in the U.K. and that’s not fair, so a deal is a must.”

Read the article at Forbes


Safety & Risk

By: Art Liggio, CEO of Driving Dynamics

As reported by the National Safety Council, the U.S. has experienced three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths.

In 2018, there was a decline of roughly one percent from road deaths in 2017, but a 14 percent increase from four years ago. One of the contributing factors is the continuing increase in the number of drivers on the road and miles driven, which correspondingly increases the crash risks for your driver population.

For the last ten years, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index survey identified American drivers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding road safety. The results of this year’s survey, which focused on drivers’ road activity in the 30 days preceding their participation, are consistent with the years prior. Risky behaviors are still taking place, and unfortunately the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality is still prominent amongst non-fleet drivers.



In the Public Interest

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

When you hear talk about right-sizing a fleet, is the first thing that comes to mind getting rid of vehicles?

Often, the prompt for right-sizing is either a directive from senior management in order to cut overhead expenses, a merger or employee layoffs.

But if as a fleet manager, what if you’re not met with one of these challenges? Does that mean your fleet, as it’s currently configured and deployed, is “right” for your organization?


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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