March 17, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

What a Difference a Week Makes

To say these are challenging times is a staggering understatement. Every day brings new revelations and fresh opportunities to cause panicky feelings. We know we will get through this, but the pandemic is taking its toll on all of us.

Just last week, NAFA announced that the 2020 Institute & Expo would be held in April as planned, but due to the rapid escalation of the coronavirus I&E has been rescheduled. The conference will now take place in beautiful Indianapolis on September 18-20. Kudos to NAFA’s leadership team who will be working diligently to put all the pieces together, not a small challenge but they will succeed. We look forward to celebrating our industry with great joy in September.

NAFA kindly gave us permission to reprint their up-to-the-minute article: Preparing for Natural Disasters in Uncertain Times. It is a must read for fleet professionals who are on the front line.

Drive safety and keep well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Turning Fleets Into Smart City Sensor Networks

In the public sector, Geotab is working with a variety of locations to turn fleet vehicles into mobile and roaming smart city sensors.

VIDEO: Properly Using Driver Assist Technology

 The Paradox of Driver Assist Technology

Driver Assist technology is pretty amazing, but it only works if drivers know how to use it properly and safely.

VIDEO: NAFA Throughout the Year

 The Benefits of NAFA Throughout the Year

NAFA is poised for success at this pivotal moment of change in the fleet industry – providing fantastic educational and networking opportunities all throughout the year.

The Fleet Spot

NAFA Announces New Dates for Institute & Expo

NAFA Fleet Management Association announces its 2020 Institute & Expo conference is rescheduled for September 18-20, Indianapolis, IN.

NAFA members’ safety is important to us. Due to the escalation of severity with COVID-19 and the new Federal Government recommendations and CDC guidelines, NAFA Fleet Management Association’s Board of Directors met last week and agreed to postpone the NAFA 2020 Institute & Expo until September 18-20, 2020.

“This was a natural decision for our organization to keep our members and partners safe. NAFA Board of Directors has taken this step to help protect the safety and wellbeing of our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” said Patti Earley, CAFM, President, NAFA Fleet Management Association.


Wheels Wins Big at the 14th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales

Wheels, Inc.

Wheels, Inc. won three bronze Stevie® Awards in the 14th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

In the Best Use of Technology in Customer Service category, Wheels’ evolved approach to responsiveness was recognized. As part of the new approach, a new requestment management tool was provided to customers. Data analysis from thousands of customer request inquiries informed the creation of the newly established estimated completion date metric. Another output of the project is the ability to submit, view and track requests in Wheels’ award-winning client user portal, FleetView™.

The responsiveness practices were also recognized with a bronze win in the Best Use of Customer Insight Category.

Read more at Wheels, Inc.

Volkswagen’s New Software Aims to Eliminate Crashes by 2050

The Detroit Bureau

Volkswagen wants to rid the world of car accidents by 2050 and will introduce a new vehicle operating system later this year on the new ID.3 EV to help make that happen.

The automaker’s next-generation cars will be equipped with the new software, sensors and processors to enable vehicles to anticipate and avoid accidents. The new software-based vehicle operating system will be continually updated as software algorithms improve.

“How quickly can data and algorithms improve? Our customers should benefit from deep learning every week, and every day. We are moving from being a device company to being a software company,” Michael Jost, the VW brand’s strategy chief said.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Is Car-Sharing a Solution for Grey Fleet Driver Risk?

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The so-called “mobility revolution” has a variety of dimensions: among the most prominent are connected vehicles, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and ride-hailing as a more convenient alternative to hailing a taxi from a city sidewalk. By all accounts, the momentum for all of these continues to build.

One area that’s been faltering, at least in North America, is car-sharing. Over the last few months, a number of players in the business have scaled back their operations, leaving a handful of the biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada, and a safe assumption is that the anticipated demand just hasn’t materialized, at least not yet.


Making the Right Decisions

What’s your recipe for fleet success?

Your business has fleet management and technology solutions in place to help achieve organizational goals. These objectives likely include budget, productivity, profits, customer satisfaction, and so forth. But do you know which ingredients were used to whip up your company’s current fleet approach?

Hopefully the recipe for your fleet’s success was customized to complement your company’s appetite in terms of configuration and priorities. An ingredient check may be in order to ensure your structure is geared for optimal performance.

Does your fleet have the fundamental systems and policies in place to operate at a best practices level? Is your business effectively managing the processes to execute on those systems and policies?

If you suspect the answer is “no”, it’s time to peek behind the kitchen door. You might see what looks like a mess at first glance, but you’ll know exactly how things have been cooked up—including which stakeholders are stirring the pot and what’s been left on the floor unconsidered. The common phrase, “how the sausage gets made” applies perfectly to this process. While your stakeholders are more concerned with the final fleet dinner plate rather than how you prepared it, what happens in the kitchen can make or break their entire experience.



Being Ready for Emergencies

NAFA Fleet Management Association

When fleet operatives prepare for a natural emergency, they require an action plan to remain operational and safe during extreme circumstances.

Fleet professionals today face an assortment of natural disasters, both external––such as tornadoes and floods, and internal––such as viruses and mass shootings. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reports that there were 14 weather and climate disaster events last year alone, with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States.

Worst-case scenarios are quickly becoming commonplace––from earthquakes, fires, floods, and tornadoes, to viruses such as COVID-19 that panic consumers and disrupt the national supply chain. Just last week, a tornado touched down in Putnam County, Tennessee (about 80 miles East of Nashville) that killed 24 people and required the governor to call a state of emergency, bringing in the National Guard to sift through the rubble.

The bottom line? Modern fleet professionals operate under extreme and unpredictable conditions, and they require actionable disaster plans to mitigate the impact of each of the most devastating natural events.

Read the article at


Safety & Risk

By: Art Liggio, CEO and president of Driving Dynamics

Believe it or not, most motorists on the road today are Unconscious Incompetents. What does that mean?

In our case, it refers to individuals who are unintentionally putting themselves at risk because they are unaware of the consequences of their actions—common examples include speeding through a yellow light, rolling through stop signs, or weaving in and out of traffic. If an individual never faces any repercussions as a result of these actions, these habits eventually ingrain themselves into his or her everyday driving style.

In an attempt to eliminate similar risks and improve driver behavior overall, millions of dollars have been invested to update safety policies, initiate communication campaigns, leverage telematics and adopt vehicle driver assist technologies. Yet, national crash statistics continue to show that, in general, this effort has barely made a dent in lowering incident rates. The only way to induce change is to shift drivers from Unconscious Incompetents to drivers who understand and conduct safe driving skills – also known as Conscious Competents. To understand how to achieve this awareness level, first, we need to look at the deep seeded root cause, which is misguided self-directed learning.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Using Or Driving Rideshare During The Coronavirus? Stay Safe With These Tips


If you’re of the opinion that this virus is “no big deal” because you’re typically in the best of health and would likely survive COVID-19, imagine if you’re the reason that an older person or child with a health condition gets deathly ill because you wouldn’t take a break while you weren’t feeling 100%.

So in the interest of keeping people safe while getting them where they want to go, here are some tips for both drivers and passengers. Make sure your car is as clean as an operating room. Get a readily-available EPA-recommended disinfectant and literally bathe the inside of your car with it. Cover up, wear gloves, and a mask.

Keep your hands to yourself in the car. Let the driver get the door (it’s fine to ask) and once in, buckle in and keep your hands, elbows and all else to yourself. Want the window down? Ask the driver to do it. Feel a cough or sneeze coming on? Aim for the crook in your elbow or use a hankie.

Read the article at Forbes.

Automated Systems Need Stronger Safeguards To Keep Drivers Focused On The Road


Research has shown that the more sophisticated and reliable automation becomes, the harder it is for a driver to remain vigilant.

The systems that are currently available either assume the driver is paying attention when his or her hands are on the wheel or use a driver-facing camera to determine if the driver’s head is oriented toward the road, but neither is foolproof.

The researchers recommend employing multiple monitoring methods. When the driver monitoring system detects that the driver’s focus has wandered, that should trigger a series of escalating attention reminders: Visual, Audible, Physical Alerts and Pulse Braking. No manufacturer currently incorporates all these measures

Read the article at IIHS.

How Coronavirus Could Hit America’s 1.8 Million Truck Drivers


America’s truck drivers are one of the largest groups at risk for not only catching coronavirus, but potentially spreading it to others because they are not able to work from home – “social distancing.”

The job requires drivers to travel nationwide and come into contact with goods shipped from overseas, which could affect not only them, but those they come into contact with.

Truckers have to depend on truck-stop workers to ensure their shower booths are clean, trust fast-food employees to have scrupulous hygiene, and assume that the driver before them who sat in their seat didn’t feel feverish. 38% of truck drivers do not have health insurance. Paid sick leave is also not a common benefit across many trucking jobs.

Read the article at MSN.

FLD Updates WebAccess: An All-in-One Solution That Manages the Entire Remarketing Process from Any Smartphone, Tablet or Computer

Helping fleets save time, money and resources in one easy process that takes less than a week!

By Richard Mallek, Director of Sales

One of the things that most fleet professionals know about remarketing vehicles is that the entire process has a lot of moving parts.

To begin with, you have to consign your vehicle to a remarketing partner, and then wait for it to get recovered. After that, it often meanders through a weeks or months-long process that leaves you sitting ….and waiting …. and wondering ….

“How much will my vehicle sell for?
“How will it affect the total cost of ownership?”
“And – most importantly – when will I finally get paid!”

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to quickly and easily dispose of any vehicle or piece of equipment in one totally risk-free transaction that took less than a week?


Data Privacy


Connected car data privacy is a major concern for around half of all drivers, LeasePlan, a global fleet management company, has found in its most recent mobility survey of consumers in the U.S. and 15 European countries.

The survey of 4,000 consumers found that:

• 53 percent are worried about who owns the data the vehicles collect;
• 52 percent are worried about personal data that can be accessed after they sell or return their vehicles when their lease expires; and
• 49 percent are worried about their data being shared with third parties.

In spite of those concerns, the survey also found that a large majority of drivers are willing to share their data anonymously if it’s used to reduce emissions, spending on fuel and maintenance and to improve vehicle performance.

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, said, ‘Vehicle data offers a great opportunity to make driving safer and more sustainable – but that data needs to be collected with driver awareness and consent. Drivers also need a simple opt-out solution – if they want to delete their personal data, they must be able to do that. ‘”

Read LeasePlan’s press release and the full survey report.


Presenting Remotely


Over the next few weeks, you can expect a lot of in-person meetings and presentations will move to Zoom and other video conferencing formats. How to remain effective when presenting remotely will become a key question for much of the workforce.

If it’s an important presentation and you’re concerned about the new medium, ask a colleague to do a dry run with you and give feedback. They can tell you how you’re coming off on camera, if it’s hard to understand you, or if you’re doing anything distracting.

“Especially right now with what we’re dealing with, socially isolating, working from home and minimizing spread of COVID-19, we need a little bit of flexibility and some extra patience,” says Carla Bevins, assistant teaching professor of business communications at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. “If something doesn’t go right the first time, it’s okay. There are people out there who can help us out.”

Read the article at Fortune.


Lasting Effects?


Every economic shock leaves a legacy, and the deadly coronavirus will be no different.

International manufacturers are being forced to rethink where to buy and produce their goods accelerating a shift after the U.S.- China trade war exposed the risks of relying on one source for components.

Workplaces have amped up options for teleworking and staggered shifts – ushering in a new era where work from home is an increasing part of people’s regular schedule.

The tourism sector is seeing the most drastic hit, with flights, cruises, hotels and the web of businesses who feed off the sector struggling. While tourists will no doubt be eager to explore the world and relax on a beach again, it may takes some time before the industry that hires about one in 10 people recovers.

Read the article at Bloomberg.

Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

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 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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