November 3, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Risks and Rewards

While the pandemic has undoubtedly heightened our awareness toward taking risks, in the vehicle fleet business we know risk is inevitable. So, we look for ways to mitigate our exposure.

In Reducing Risk. Getting Customers Paid Fast! Bill Bishop, VP at FLD, warns, “In fleet, perhaps no function is riskier than vehicle remarketing, a service with many moving parts.”

e-Driving’s Jim Noble reminds us of The Importance of ‘The Big Picture’ for Fleet Managers. He asks: “How do you effectively use aggregated driver risk insights to reduce your exposure to crashes/incidents/injuries and possible business-ending events?”

Mark Boada has years of experience writing about fleet safety, and I was excited when he told me he wanted to write this article: Want a Gold-Plated Fleet Safety Program? Try These 25 Components. Mark says, “Put all of them in place and, after a couple of years, if not sooner, your accident rate is bound to rival the very best in the entire fleet industry.”

We never get closer to what it means to be an American than on voting day. Few people tell the American story better than Ray Charles.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Cargo Vans with Crew Cabs and Conversions Can Lower Operating Costs

Cargo vans with crew cabs and conversions allow your fleet to save big while transporting 5 or 6 passengers and equipment safely and securely to a job site – and the easy installation can be done in 4 to 8 hours.

VIDEO: Safety as a Strategic Imperative

 Building and Maintaining a Crash-Free Culture

Virtual Risk Manager from eDriving provides everything you need to establish safety as a strategic imperative, and their Mentor smartphone app’s powerful technology helps remediate risky driving behavior in your fleet.

VIDEO: Global Mobility

 1st Mobility launches “Mobility Configurator” Solution

Swiss-based startup 1st Mobility has developed an innovative B2B self-service IT software that enables companies to orchestrate mobility offerings for their employees.

The Fleet Spot

The Fate of Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will be Decided Today

Reuters via autoblog

Trend-setting California votes on the future of the gig economy on Tuesday, deciding whether to back a ballot proposal by Uber and its allies that would cement app-based food delivery and ride-hail drivers’ status as independent contractors, not employees.

Companies describe the contest as a matter of ensuring flexibility for a new generation of workers who want to choose when and how they work. Opponents see an effort to exploit workers and avoid employee-related costs that could amount to more than $392 million each for Uber and Lyft, a Reuters calculation showed.

Read the article at autoblog

Ford Confirms 2021 F-150 Will Be Offered With Hands-Free Driving Technology


Ford confirmed the new 2021 F-150 will be offered with hands-off driving technology.

Upmarket trim levels will be available with Co-Pilot 360, a suite of electronic driving aids that includes a feature called Active Drive Assist.

The Active Drive Assist feature will allow drivers to take their hands completely off the steering wheel when they’re traveling on the roughly 100,000 miles of American highways that Ford has mapped.

It does not turn the F-150 into a fully autonomous car, and motorists will be required to keep both eyes on the road at all times. They will be monitored by a driver-facing camera that tracks their head and eye movements.

Read the article at Autoblog.

2020 NETS Conference Reveals Latest Fleet Safety Best Practices

Annual survey finds driver scorecards, fatigue management programs have the greatest impact

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

October 2020

This year’s Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) Strength IN Numbers® Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference this month demonstrated once again why every fleet should belong to the organization. Why? Because it’s where fleets can learn what works best from the elite in fleet safety.

Like most other conferences held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day conference was conducted virtually over a very smooth-running platform that made it easy to watch, interact and network with members and suppliers of fleet safety systems.


Would You Rather Embrace Fleet Change or a Prickly Cactus?


2020 has served up plenty of life lesson reminders.

One of these concepts is especially relevant: change waits for no one. Change doesn’t care if you don’t want it, and ready or not, change happens.

All of our lives we’ve been encouraged to embrace change. But whether we’re talking about our personal lives or fleet responsibilities, change can feel uncomfortable and difficult to wrap our arms around.

But there’s an upside: while change feels risky, there’s the potential rewards that are worth exploring.

Obviously cacti are known for their ability to hold water. But did you know their water-storing abilities are completely adaptive? Just like a cactus that evolves in order to survive, your fleet strategy must be flexible in order to continue moving down the road to success. Change may feel prickly, but the alternative is literally getting stuck behind your competitors as you maintain the status quo.


Fleet Marketing

A shift in the buying cycle means the sales representative is no longer an exclusive expert and the marketer is no longer the exclusive promoter. How are fleet service providers adapting to today’s buying cycle?

Ed Pierce, ITA Communications. Fleet

November 2020

The generally-accepted B2B sales cycle – discovery of user needs, building customer trust, developing a compelling case to win through a strong use case, and closing the deal — has evolved. The modern sales cycle is driven by an ever-more- informed sourcing team.

A shift in the buying cycle means the sales representative is no longer an exclusive expert. It means that the marketer is no longer the exclusive promoter. Sales reps will always be the lynchpin between a B2Bservice provider and a customer. And, marketing’s role will continue to be finding opportunities.

But, both sales and marketing need to be prepared to fill the roles of Storytellers, Substantiators, and Derailleurs. These three roles frame the future of marketing and sales for any B2B organization or brand.



Crash-Free Culture

How do you effectively use aggregated driver risk insights to reduce your exposure to crashes/incidents/injuries and possible business-ending events?

By Jim Noble, Senior Vice President of Risk Engineering, eDriving

November 2010

Driver risk management is a complex picture of dozens of interconnected influences that, layered together, create a total picture of risk.

Using just one element of that picture, even an important element like today’s in-vehicle intelligence provided by telematics or cameras, is like viewing the old console tube-type television picture.

It just doesn’t provide the high definition picture you get with the TVs of today which can process massive amount of data to give that “I can see the individual grains of sand” picture clarity.

If you want a high definition overview, you need the “bigger picture”.



Remarketing Today

By Bill Bishop, Vice President, FLD

November 2020

As 2020 inches to conclusion, no one would argue that this has been perhaps the most challenging year not just for our industry, but for our existence.

At a time like this, people in all walks of life – and business – are looking for ways to mitigate risks to ensure their ability to survive in a world of unknowns.

In fleet, perhaps no function is riskier than vehicle remarketing, a service with many moving parts. Executed flawlessly, it can add meaningful value, helping improve total cost of ownership while fulfilling the promise of vehicle leasing. Mishandled, it not only costs money, but wastes valuable time and company resources as well.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of third-party providers and preferred channel partners make the remarketing process not only cumbersome, but risky for sellers.


Fleet Trends & Issues

The EVs Are Coming

Car and Driver

Most EVs in the U.S. have poor sales. But when Tesla finally ramped up Model 3 production in 2018, it proved that EVs aren’t inherently undesirable. Its mass-market sedan was one of 2019’s bestselling passenger cars.

A coming army of electric pickups—including mammoth-battery trucks from Ford, Chevy, GMC, Rivian, Tesla, Bollinger, Nikola, and Lordstown Motors—will be a real test of our EV appetite.

R.J. Scaringe, the MIT-educated founder of Rivian, notes that this segment can better absorb electric-tech premiums without scaring off shoppers, as truck buyers are already accustomed to paying $60,000 or more for internal-combustion rigs. And don’t forget market scale. If Ford can convince just one in nine F-150 buyers to opt for an electrified version, that’s 100,000 customers a year.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

The Success Of Autonomous Vehicles Hinges On Smart Cities. Inrix Is Making It Easier To Build Them


Signs are an effective way to communicate with a human driver, but self-driving vehicles? Not so much. A can of spray paint or black tape is all you need to trick some AVs into driving the wrong speed limit.

Inrix has released IQ, a software-as-a-service solution that houses multiple location analytics applications in a single platform. It’s a one-stop-shop for transportation data analysis, visualization, and insights; an integrated solutions-oriented platform that enables enterprises and transportation officials to know what happened or what’s happening with mobility in their areas.

Many cities already use Inrix for traffic analysis, but with IQ, the Kirkland, Wash.-based company has democratized access to the advanced technology that data scientists use to calculate pretty much anything that has to do with transportation. It makes it easier for a new or existing customer to find answers rather than issue a complex RFP process every time they want to know why there are bottlenecks on the I-5.

Read the article at Forbes.

Advanced Safety Features Can Drop Car Insurance Premiums By 10% — But They Make Repairs Much More Expensive


Today’s cars come chock-full of advanced driver-assistance systems that help drivers avoid collisions and accidents making modern cars safer than ever, but on the financial side have produced a mixed bag of savings and costs for drivers.

Those fancy sensors and systems aren’t cheap to fix. Since many of a modern car’s ADAS sensors are located in easily damaged places like bumpers, wing mirrors, and windshields, repairing even a mere fender-bender or a chipped windshield might not necessarily as simple or cheap fixes as it once was.

“In the end, though, these features are so effective at reducing claims that insurers offer an attractive discount for any car that has them,” said Kacie Saxer-Taulbee, a data scientist at insurance comparison shopping website Insurify. “Most drivers can expect about a 2% to 3% discount per safety feature — or about 10% off of their premium from a typical safety package — which increasingly includes advanced features such as adaptive cruise control and blind-spot cameras.”

Read the article at MSN.

Ford To Reveal All-New Electric Transit Van Nov. 12

The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co., marking another step forward in its goal of electrifying its most iconic nameplates, will reveal on Nov. 12 the all-new E-Transit, the fully battery-electric version of the best-selling Transit cargo van.

The E-Transit, as previously announced, will feature a variety of chassis options, including a cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab. It will be available in three roof heights and three body lengths. Ford expects that by mid-decade, EVs will make up 8% of the market.

“As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150,” CEO Jim Farley said. “This Ford Transit isn’t just about creating an electric drivetrain, it’s about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward.”

Read the article at The Detroit News.

Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

November 2020

I’ve been in the fleet industry for more than 15 years, and much of that time my focus has been fleet safety.

While I’m not a fleet safety professional, I’ve had the opportunity to take a very long, broad and close look at practices that reduce fleet collisions, save lives and keep drivers and their employers protected against serious physical and financial damage.

So, below I’m identifying the 25 most powerful components of a fleet safety program to help accomplish those goals. Please note that I’m not listing them in order of their relative effectiveness, nor am I intending to ignore a host of other practices that also contribute to an effective program.

I do believe, however, that the more of these ingredients a fleet puts into practice, the better its fleet safety performance will be. Put all of them in place and, after a couple of years, if not sooner, your accident rate is bound to rival the very best in the entire fleet industry: below 10 percent of your total number of vehicles and fewer than 6 crashes per million miles traveled. And, if you’re already at those levels, you should also see further improvement.



The Future of Mobility


The Commission on the Future of Mobility was formally unveiled on Friday. The group of business leaders and public policy experts plans to propose a new regulatory framework to address a global transportation sector “on the cusp of a worldwide transition driven by shared, connected, autonomous, and electric technologies.”

Governments, including the United States, have struggled to adopt regulations to allow for wide-scale adoption of next-generation transportation like self-driving cars amid safety concerns.

SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond said the goal is to rethink everything. “If you had to rewrite regulations and policy from scratch knowing what we know about technology today … what you would do differently?” he asked. “We want to think big.”

Read the article at Autoblog.


Now or Never

McKinsey & Company

Electric mobility, driverless cars, automated factories, and ridesharing—these are just a few of the major disruptions the auto industry faced even before the COVID-19 crisis – it’s natural to wonder what the “next normal” for the auto sector will look like.

Globally, the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis are immense and unprecedented. In fact, many auto-retail stores have remained closed for a month or more. As they navigate this crisis, automotive leaders may gain an advantage by reimagining their organizational structures and operations.

Five moves can help them during this process: radically focusing on digital channels, shifting to recurring revenue streams, optimizing asset deployment, embracing zero-based budgeting, and building a resilient supply chain. One guiding principle—the need to establish a strong decision-making cadence—will also help. We believe that the window of opportunity for making these changes will permanently close in a few months—and that means the time to act is now or never.

Read the article at McKinsey & Company.

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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