August 11, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Set the Stage to Move Forward

In her Customer Driven column, Wheels’ executive Laura Jozwiak writes about our pre-pandemic goals and how many of them have been upended as we are adjusting to new routines and restrictions. Laura says, “Let’s go back in time to set the stage for moving forward with a customer driven mindset.”

Do you have to offer your employees money to motivate them? Robert Martinez, deputy commissioner for support services for NYPD, wrote a paper for Harvard Kennedy School of Government on that very subject. In Motivating Government Fleet Employees Without Using Money, we publish edited excerpts from that paper which presents the management principles Martinez continues to stand by and to which he credits much of his success.

NAFA 2020 Virtual Institute & Expo is just a month away – September 14-17. If you’re considering exhibiting, fleet marketer Ed Pierce penned an excellent column about how to benefit from virtual conference participation. We sure will miss seeing our friends in person, but we’re excited about the conference. Learn from the best in the comfort of our own homes!

Stay safe, everyone!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: A Better Curb Service for Cities and Fleets

Coord is building a system to coordinate activity on busy city curbsides. It’s a bit like air traffic control for the curb.

VIDEO: Are You an AFLA Member?

 AFLA Membership Offers Ways to Connect and Learn

In the age of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to find ways to connect with and learn from other fleet professionals – like AFLA’s monthly virtual coffee break series, for example. If you’re not currently a member of AFLA, it’s definitely worth your consideration!

Interview with YOU Here?

 Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more:

The Fleet Spot

Used Car Prices Spiking As COVID-19 Pandemic Shakes Up The Market For New Cars

USA Today

If you were hoping to find some savings during the COVID-19 pandemic, you won’t find them in the used-car market, but you might be able to make a few bucks if you’re willing to part with a vehicle because used-car prices are spiking due to an unusual confluence of factors during the pandemic.

Buyers are flooding the used-car market, looking for deals amid high prices for new vehicles, low interest rates and a shortage of new-vehicle inventory. COVID-19 restrictions shut down plants for about two months, leading to a decline in new-vehicle inventory and a delay in 2021 models.

“It’s a seller’s market right now,” Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights said. “Although used vehicles continue to offer significant discounts compared to new, used-car shoppers will find themselves in the unusual position where they might not have as much negotiation power because demand is so high and dealers will be less inclined to be flexible.”

Read the article at USA Today.

NTEA Webinar: Improve Your Spec’ing Process for Vehicle Efficiency

Wednesday, August 12, 2020: 11 AM-Noon EST


Operational productivity and vehicle effectiveness start with great specifications. New materials, technology and products offer significant benefits you can leverage. Explore how changing elements in your work truck specifications can be the foundation for future fleet improvements.

Learn how your organization can use NTEA’s new specification tool to help improve processes and optimize vehicle efficiency.

Presented by:Chris Lyon, fleet relations director, NTEA

100 Best Fleets in The Americas™ Free Webinar: Green Garage!

Safety and health of your employees is the number 1 priority. How do you achieve it? Employee safety from COVID-19 starts in the garage. How do you keep the fleet running, keep COVID-19 at bay and not damage the environment? This is need-to-know information you can get nowhere else.

Register now to Join us on Wednesday, August 19th at 11:00 a.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. EDT.

Gary Lentsch, Fleet Supervisor for Eugene Water & Electric Board of Eugene, Oregon is considered one of the best sustainable fleet managers in the country. He has developed a check list for your garage — a blueprint.

There will be 10 takeaways that can shorten your learning curve by 5 years. Our mission is to work smarter not harder and not to re-invent the wheel every time. We only learn from the best.


NAFA Webinar: Vehicle Utilization Success Story: How Seattle’s Sound Transit Saved $Millions & Right-Sized the Fleet

Wednesday, August 19 — 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern — (Sponsored by Agile)

Seattle’s Sound Transit reduced their fleet by 115 vehicles saving millions of dollars in cost avoidance while right-sizing their fleet.

In this webinar, hear their story directly from the manager of their non-revenue fleet, and learn how they manage vehicles in 6 different geographical locations from a single office, automated manual processes, boosted utilization rates, and track usage automatically.

Click here to learn more and register!

Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak, Senior Vice President of Sales & Client Relations, Wheels, Inc.

Well, here we are.

It’s four months into the COVID-19 pandemic. And for many of us, we’re working from home and learning new technologies—and using fun backgrounds—to improve our virtual meetings skills. For those in essential roles, you’re perhaps experiencing less traffic, yet more restrictions to ensure your safety. We are all balancing supporting our customers while adjusting to new routines, such as preparing to balance another semester of remote learning for our kids.

During any period of crisis and stress, our programmed response is flight or fight. Sometimes, it’s referred to as freeze in place or move forward. I would suppose that as this current crisis progresses, there have been times to do both. For this conversation, I would like to talk about moving forward, while keeping the customer driven mindset you’ve cultivated at the forefront.

Let’s go back in time to set the stage for moving forward with a customer driven mindset.



Fleet Tracking and COVID-19

Each business is facing its own set of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses are finding it tough to maintain a steady revenue as they cut down on certain activities to avoid the transmission of the coronavirus. An efficient fleet management solution helps drivers work safely and can help build a foundation for a strong financial future.

From monitoring fuel costs and vehicle movement to tracking COVID-19-affected areas, GPS tracking technology and its features can be a helpful tool for drivers, managers and company owners. Now is the time to use the features of a fleet management software to improve Geofencing, create Customizable Forms, Keep Track of Drivers and Vehicles and minimize Liability Concerns – and to help build a resilient fleet.

In this free ebrief you will learn many more practical ways to manage your fleet as you take care of the health of your staff and customers. Download now.


In the Public Interest

The NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner’s approach

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Editor’s Note: In this time of looming cuts in government budgets, prompted by the COVID-19 recession, public sector fleet managers may be wondering how to keep their technicians, administrators and managers motivated without meaningful pay increases and opportunities for overtime.

Nine years ago, Robert Martinez, then a manager within the New York Police Department’s fleet, presented a paper on that subject to fellow students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s program for senior executives in state and local government.

Today, Martinez, who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and mechanical engineering from the City University of New York and a master’s degree in executive management from New York University, is the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for support services, which includes responsibility for the department’s entire 10,000-vehicle fleet and more. In these edited excerpts from his 2011 paper, Martinez presents the management principles he continues to stand by and to which he credits much of the success of his 900-member organization.


Fleet Trends & Issues

For Traffic Safety, Roundabouts Run Circles Around Stoplights


Jim Brainard, mayor of Carmel, Indiana since 1996, has made roundabouts the city’s most characteristic feature, arguing that they save lives and money.

Roundabouts force people to slow down. “A stoplight encourages drivers to speed up to beat the yellow light,” Brainard said. “In a roundabout, everyone has to slow down to 15 to 25 miles an hour. The human error rate is never going to change very much. So, the question is, when you make an error, what type of accident is it going to be—high-speed or low-speed?”

It turns out that roundabouts in Carmel reduce overall accident rates, not just fatalities. “We’ve also reduced accidents with injuries requiring visits to the hospital by 75-80%, compared to national averages,” Brainard said.

Read the article at StrXur

Surprising Tech Features Land These Vehicles Atop Wards’ 10-Best UX List

Detroit Free Press

Luxury cars don’t have a monopoly on the best new features, particularly those for driver assistance, entertainment and navigation according to WardsAuto’s 2020 list of the 10 best user experiences in vehicles.

You’re as likely to get the latest and greatest from mainstream brands and models like Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Escape, Hyundai Sonata or Kia Seltos, as the luxury brands BMW X7 and Audi Q7

“User experience” is an awkward name, but it refers to features that are high on customer lists and include anything from a sensor that warns before you back into something to systems that help steer, accelerate and brake. Controls and displays ranging from seat adjustment to navigation, audio and climate control make vehicles safer and easy to use.

Read the article at Detroit Free Press.

AAA Finds New Semi-Autonomous Driving Systems Suffer Repeated ‘Issues’

The Detroit Bureau

Semi-autonomous technologies are popping up across the automotive market, though capabilities vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  A new study by AAA finds that they don’t always work as well as planned.

Echoing an earlier study conducted in 2018, the latest report indicates that these semi-autonomous systems encounter one “issue” or another on an average of every eight miles. One of the biggest problems was keeping a vehicle in its lane but, in a significant number of cases, the partially automated vehicles wound up hitting a simulated broken-down vehicle.

“With the number of issues we experienced in testing, it is unclear how these systems enhance the driving experience in their current form,” AAA’s automotive engineering director Greg Bannon said. “In the long run, a bad experience with current technology may set back public acceptance of more fully automated vehicles in the future.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Cadillac’s Electric Lyriq SUV Has A Massive Touchscreen And A Range ‘Beyond 300 Miles’

The Verge

The Cadillac Lyriq will be one of the first vehicles to feature GM’s new scalable battery architecture, Ultium, offering “approximately 100 kilowatt-hours of energy” with the capability for at-home (level 2) charging to 19kW.

The Lyriq is bout the same size as the Cadillac XT5, with a long wheelbase and rides on 22-inch wheels. The absence of a transmission tunnel means there’s more space for a cantilevered center console, which extends forward between the front seats, with open air below.

One of the most eye-catching features of the Lyriq is the curved, 33-inch LED infotainment display. That’s nearly three feet of screen, almost stretching the entire length of the dashboard pillar to pillar. The Lyriq will have the latest version of the “hands-free” advanced driver assist system, which displays green lights in the steering wheel when activated.

Read the article at The Verge.

Detecting Distraction and Drowsiness

International Fleet World

Developed by Israel-based Eyesight Technologies, the driver monitoring system (DMS) has been upgraded to ensure continued safety during coronavirus, reflecting the realities of the pandemic and its impact.

Eyesight Technologies’ computer vision and AI algorithms have been trained to detect distraction and drowsiness even while wearing a mask and glasses – this includes sunglasses, protective glasses and prescription glasses.

“We are living in unprecedented times,” said David Tolub CEO of Eyesight Technologies. “Without a concrete end date to the current situation, wearing medical masks may be a reality for the foreseeable future. Eyesight Technologies is forging ahead and adapting to provide a reliable solution to help guarantee safety even under less than ideal circumstances.”

Read the article at International Fleet World.


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

The year 2020 will go into the annals as disruptive for both the fleet industry and fleet industry marketing. One need look no further than the havoc created by the fallout both economically and operationally to companies with fleets, fleet service providers, and relevant trade associations.

Yet, with all of the change, trade associations like NAFA, AFLA, NETS, and others have quickly adapted to the event industry’s new normal to allow marketers to benefit from virtual conference participation.

As mentioned in previous years’ “Call to Action” columns, exhibitor participation can shorten the typically long sales cycle decision-making time. It can help initiate or bolster relationships between sales and multiple sourcing team members. It also provides a unique opportunity for captive-audience product differentiators or user experience demonstrations.



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, Founder/CEO of eDriving

Throughout the world many sales fleets are experiencing dramatic reductions in business mileage while simultaneously service and last mile distribution fleets are operating at holiday peak plus!

With predictions that a large proportion of employees are likely to continue working from home until at least March 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a significant effect on fleet and driver management planning and resourcing.

If employees officially become home-based workers, they may no longer be eligible for a company vehicle, or having one might not make financial sense. Becoming a home-based worker also affects what constitutes a “business trip”. Even the commute, when it’s made, could become a business trip depending on an employee’s location classification. If company-owned vehicle use decreases, privately-owned vehicle use will almost certainly increase.

What does this mean for organizations? It means exciting new challenges lie ahead!


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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