November 5, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Innovation and Disruption All Around

Whether you are considering creating or enhancing a telematics program for a North American fleet or a global fleet, or just wonder how it’s done, we have a terrific article for you. Bob Zimmer, PepsiCo’s senior manager of supply chain fleet technology, gives us a roadmap in How PepsiCo is Creating a Global Telematics Program.

More on telematics, now safety, in a Q&A with Ed Dubens, CEO and founder of eDriving.  The company is introducing its Mentor TSP program in January and Ed gives us a peek into its powerful capabilities.

Ted Roberts is back from a week-long trip to Germany, where he met with a number of innovative companies in the automotive sector. We learn more in his first video clip: German OEMs and Startups are Getting Ready for Massive Disruption.

Drive Safety,

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Data, Dashboards and Customer Satisfaction

PARS uses smart technology solutions to bring together disparate data on vehicle delivery, storage, order volumes and more – which makes for some impressive customer satisfaction.

VIDEO: German Innovation

 German OEMs and Startups are Getting Ready for Massive Disruption

Mobility. Autonomy. EVs. Massive change is about to hit the automotive sector worldwide, and German OEMs and German startups are committed to making sure they’re ahead of the game.

VIDEO: I&E in Indianapolis

 NAFA 2020 Institute & Expo: Save the Date

NAFA I&E – the largest gathering of fleet professionals – is April 6-8, 2020, in Indianapolis. You can learn more and register HERE.

The Fleet Spot

Jason Jones Joins Merchants Fleet as Director of Analytics & Data Management

Merchants Fleet announced that Jason Jones has joined their technology team as Director of Analytics and Data Management.

He will be responsible for expanding Merchants Fleet’s analytical and data management capabilities through building business partnerships, executing data management best practices, and developing innovative technology solutions.

“As our company continues to offer more data-rich technologies to help our clients manage and optimize their vehicles, we must continue to invest in our data capabilities,” said Jeanine L. Charlton, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology & Digital Officer at Merchants Fleet.


Driving Dynamics Expands Academic Arm of Its CDL Program

Press Release

Driving Dynamics Inc. announced its entry-level commercial driver’s license (CDL-A) course offered through educational institutions has been added to the curriculum at the Anderson campus of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.

Through CTS Driving Academy, the academic training arm of Driving Dynamics’ commercial driver training business—Center for Transportation Safety (CTS), students are provided comprehensive classroom lessons and behind-the-wheel training taught by certified instructors who have more than 10 years of commercial transportation safe driving experience.

Since 2014, the CTS Driving Academy has maintained a 100 percent passing and job placement rate.

Read more of the Press Release.

Looking Beyond the Fleet Department for Optimal Emergency Response

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in FMW in April, 2018, but the message could not be more timely

By Jason S. Hicks, CAFM

It’s a Sunday afternoon and the snow starts falling. Then the wind starts howling, and then the power goes out. It’s a blizzard that’s going to paralyze your region for days.

As fleet managers, we know that someday we may be required to operate and manage our fleet during a blizzard, hurricane, earthquake or any of a number of different kinds of disasters. And while you may well have developed a plan to keep your fleet running, it’s important to ask yourself: just how well-prepared are you?

Have you fully thought through all that could go wrong to disrupt your fleet and how you would address each kind of challenge so you can help your government organization deliver the emergency services your citizenry will depend upon?


Want Better MPG Today?

Reprogramming your vehicles’ engines may be the fastest and cheapest — and Derive can do it for you

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Getting better fuel efficiency is one of the fleet industry’s major goals, for two reasons: reducing its single greatest category of expense and cutting back on its carbon footprint.

There are many ways of achieving those objectives, but one of the simplest is to acquire higher-MPG vehicles as fleets retire their equipment. After all, OEMs are under a federal mandate to improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicles they sell, and every year they offer increasingly fuel-efficient powertrains of all kinds.

But there are two drawbacks to this approach: it’s expensive and slow.


Fleet Marketing

Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

In the span of my own career in marketing – from copywriter to vice president of marketing and branding, the changes in marketing have, not coincidentally, been as sweeping as those in information technology.

Just as businesses have revamped processes and services to realize the benefits of more powerful data processing, analysis, and sharing, marketing departments have shifted from traditional forms of advertising and promotion to digital marketing. However, traditional marketing still has its place, and an integrated marketing plan still is the best way to deliver the best possible return on a marketing investment, especially in a B2B field such as fleet.

Digital marketing is any form of marketing that utilizes the internet, comprising the use of content in a website, native advertising, linked content, search engine optimization, emails, banner ads, and social media to connect with prospects and customers.



Global Telematics

“Go slow and then slow down”

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

North American fleets that have adopted telematics know both the benefits and challenges of putting them into place. While the technology has been proven to help increase fuel economy, design more efficient delivery routes and improve fleet safety and driver behavior, it can be difficult for senior management to approve the expense to implement it and to get driver buy-in.

Those challenges multiply, though, when managers of multinational fleet managers try to create a uniform telematics program across all the countries where the company operates vehicles. First, there’s the matter of getting commitment and funding from each country subsidiary. But most vexing, though, can be the wide variations in local laws, infrastructure, available in-vehicle technology and driving culture.

One of the pioneers in taking on those challenges is PepsiCo, the beverage and snack food giant that operates more than 70,000 sedans, trucks, tractors, and other transportation assets in some 200 countries on six continents. Bob Zimmer, PepsiCo’s senior manager of supply chain fleet technology, is the company’s project point man, and he explained how the company’s going about making it happen in a NAFA webinar last month



Telematics That Boost Safety

Q&A with Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

In advance of eDriving’s release of Mentor TSP (Telematics Service Provider), CEO and Founder Ed Dubens explains how eDriving’s latest solution provides fleet managers/operators with the option of adding Mentor’s risk management suite to their existing telematics solutions to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations, and total cost of fleet ownership.

What safety data is typically collected by telematics devices?
Hard-wired and OBDII telematics solutions can collect a wide range of fleet efficiency and productivity information that is incredibly useful and profitable for Fleet Operators. However, the safety metrics are typically limited to an understanding of the harsh acceleration, braking, cornering and speeding information associated with the “vehicle”. Such data may or may not be able to be linked to a specific driver at any point in time.

Does this kind of data address ALL the fleet operators’ safety and risk management concerns and create opportunities for improvement?


Fleet Trends & Issues

Free Class Teaches How New Car Safety Features Work

Detroit Free Press

As new safety and driver assistance systems arrive to do everything from automatically hitting the brakes to avoid a pedestrian to warning about an oncoming truck in your blind spot, they can’t protect you if you don’t know how to use them.

Only 20% of the people who buy a new car know how to use all its features,” said Roger Doster, AARP’s Michigan chief trainer for driver safety. Doster teaches classes in southeast Michigan. Most are at libraries, community centers and senior centers. “The classes help people understand which safety features might suit them, and how to use them. Nearly 100% of people say they learned something.”

The free classes last about 90 minutes. They’re open to anybody, not just AARP members or retired people.

Read the article at Detroit Free Press.

Carmakers and Repair Shops Clash as Automation Upends Aftermarket


The $800 billion auto aftermarket dispute between independent repair shops and automakers is escalating in the United States.

Independent repair shops and parts makers have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state lawmakers to intervene as many automakers say only parts and repairs from their authorized dealers can ensure safety of their crash-avoidance technology.

Subaru tells customers any problems caused by substitute replacement parts for its EyeSight system are not covered under its warranty, while other companies such as General Motors and Honda say original parts and authorized installation and repairs are important to ensure safety, but stop short of warranty warnings.

Read the article at MSN.

Uber For Business Service Could Help Retain More Customers And Increase Revenue


Uber for Business lets companies pay for rides for employees, job candidates, and business associates, and then more easily manage the expenses they incur.

If it ever becomes large enough, Uber for Business would provide the company with more recurring revenue that would help it more accurately predict its financial performance. Investors like predictability because it makes for fewer surprises.

Uber for Business includes multiple services: schedule rides for employees and customers; deliver food to employees; assist patients to travel to medical appointments; and vouchers, which allow businesses to give free rides to customers.

Read the article at Fortune.

It May Be A Long Time Before Electric Vehicles Go Mainstream


Electric mobility may be growing at a rapid pace around the world, but it could be some time before e-cars go mainstream.

As greater importance is placed on reducing carbon emissions, more countries are providing incentives to build integrated infrastructure, and to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

Chinese automakers Beijing Electric Vehicle and BYD, U.S. electric carmaker Tesla and Japan’s Nissan were the top producers. Together, they manufactured approximately 560,000 of the world’s fully electric cars. Still, this number accounts for less than 1% of the one billion vehicles being driven today.

Read the article at CNBC.

Heroes and Villains?


Whatever else people will remember about Bill Ford’s long stewardship of his great-grandfather’s company, they’ll say he was on the right side of history in this case.

GM’s Mary Barra and Toyota’s Akio Toyoda have now pledged to support the president’s assault in court. Bill Ford chose to remain as the linchpin of an alliance with Honda, VW, and BMW, plus 22 states and big environmental groups like the Sierra Club, who back California.

Ford’s contending with a president who applies his “do us a favor, though’’ mentality. Ford canceled a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico in 2017 after Trump called the plan an “absolute disgrace.” When Ford pledged to honor California’s tailpipe GHG limits even if the president rolls back the federal standard, Trump’s Department of Justice opened an anti-trust investigation.

Read the article at Forbes.


The Fiat Chrysler Merger


In a merger deal that appears to be heading for approval, Fiat Chrysler stands to gain electric vehicle technology while PSA Peugeot Citroen could benefit from a badly needed dealership network to reach its goal of selling vehicles in the U.S.

With 2,640 dealers across the U.S., Fiat Chrysler would be a ready distribution network for Peugeot and other PSA vehicles.

For years, Fiat Chrysler has lagged its rivals in electric vehicle technology. Peugeot was relatively late to the electric vehicle game but is now working fast to catch up, notably with fellow French rival Renault. More electric vehicles also would help FCA meet pollution and fuel economy regulations in Europe.

Read the article at Fortune.


Unsafe in the Dark

City Lab

More U.S. pedestrians are dying in car crashes, and more of them are dying at night, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2018, 6,482 people were killed by drivers while they were on foot, a 3.4 percent jump from 2017. Cyclist fatalities also rose by 6.3 percent from 2017, with 859 killed. After a decade of uptick, both groups saw their highest death toll since 1990.

While heavy, high-rise SUVs and trucks often insulate their occupants from crashes better than compact cars, they’re also more likely to kill pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a crash, and the popularity of these larger vehicles has surged.

Read the article at City Lab.

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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