January 5, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Crises Beget Opportunities

We see a common theme in our feature articles this first week of the new year – the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way we work.

In Digital Driver Risk Management Tools for 2021 and Beyond, eDriving’s Chris Boyd writes about some of the sophisticated and effective digital tools now available to organizations to help them effectively manage driver risk.

Several months ago, we announced that veteran fleet executive Kevin Fisher joined mobile fueling company Gas It Up as VP of Strategic Fleet Operations. We caught up with Kevin a few weeks ago and asked him to tell us more about the fast-growing company. Again, their business has been spurred by the desire to reduce COVID-19 exposure.

Fleet marketer Ed Pierce writes the third in his series The Importance of Storytellers, Substantiators, and Derailleurs in Today’s Changed B2B Market and says, “While these keys to marketing success are always valid, they hold even more weight as pandemic disruption puts pressure on companies to cut costs drastically and generate more revenue.”

And speaking of Ed Pierce, we are ever so excited to welcome him to our FMW editorial team!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Revvo Offers Real-Time Remote Tire Management

Revvo’s innovative technology connects tires and makes them smarter. That means fleets can get visibility into the history, performance and projected life of every single tire on every one of their vehicles.

VIDEO: Cellular Connectivity

 Enhanced Cellular Connectivity for Your Fleet Vehicles

Wilson Electronics is the #1 provider of all-carrier IOT technology, offering the powerful benefits of enhanced cellular connectivity for any and all devices in your vehicles.

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: [email protected].

The Fleet Spot

Ed Pierce Joins FMW as Contributing Editor

Fleet Management Weekly is delighted to announce that fleet marketing expert Ed Pierce has joined our team as Contributing Editor.

Pierce has long been involved in the fleet industry. In his 20 years at Holman/ARI, he rose to the position of Vice President of Global Branding. He then founded the B2B marketing firm, ITA Communications, with a focus on serving fleet service providers.

Ed Pierce said, “As a voracious reader, past interviewee, long-time columnist, and vocal promoter of Fleet Management Weekly, I am honored to contribute to the muniments that make it a must-read resource for anyone involved in fleet!”


The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Fleet Utilization & Achieving a Right-Sized Fleet

Co-authored by experts from NAFA and Agile Fleet

This nearly 50-page resource is the quintessential guide to understanding and achieving optimal fleet utilization. It was written by fleet experts within Agile Fleet and NAFA with thousands of hours of experience working with both public and private organizations.

This guide offers an in-depth look at how to understand and change the utilization of your fleet. Whether you are new to the fleet industry or have spent years managing fleets of vehicles, this nearly 50-page e-book is for you.


Green Garage Contest 2020 Winners Announced!

The concept of Green Garage Contest is to bring together the most progressive and environmentally-committed fleets to share best practices for eco-friendly vehicle fleet maintenance garages.

From solar panels on the roof to waste oil heating systems, the contestants will share innovative and simple ways to “green the maintenance garage.”

Going beyond paper and metals recycling or non-chemical parts washers, the ideas shared will assist with current operations improvements, but more importantly, provide a road map for new maintenance facilities in the planning stage.

And the winners are!

The Risk of Liability Exposure

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales

Perceived “deep pockets” and willingness to settle quickly make businesses a target for litigation when an on-the-job motor vehicle accident occurs.

Regardless of the severity of the crash, liability exposure and potential harmful publicity can impact a company’s bottom line and brand reputation. The size of legal rewards for on-the-job motor vehicle accidents is soaring; a 2019 verdict award was the highest in history against a fleet at $280 million.

Negligence, or negligent entrustment liability, occurs when a dangerous article – in this case a vehicle – is entrusted to somebody who is reckless, inexperienced, or incompetent. If the entrusted individual has an accident, the injured party has the right to bring a case against the individual’s employer.


Fleet Marketing

The roles of a bicycle derailleur and marketing are comparable. The first aligns front and rear sprocket wheels to deliver the best pedaling results in different terrain. The second aligns company product and service features with buyer needs to deliver more sales.

By Ed Pierce, ITA Communications. Fleet

In the November and December ‘A Call to Action’ columns, I wrote about fleet service providers’ need to focus on storytelling and substantiation in their promotional messaging.

While these keys to marketing success are always valid, they hold even more weight as pandemic disruption puts pressure on companies to cut costs drastically and generate more revenue.



Crash-Free Culture

By Chris Boyd, Chief Product and Technology Officer, eDriving

Not only will 2020 go down in history as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as the year that almost everything went digital, from business events to social get-togethers!

And, while digital safety programs have been around for some time, more and more elements of driver risk management are shifting to a digital format, including driver training and coaching.

Of course, there will always be a place for in-car training and face-to-face interactions between managers and drivers, but for the foreseeable future, many organizations will be utilizing more and more digital tools to manage driver risk.



Mobile Fueling

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

The benefits of diesel wet hosing, also known as mobile fueling, fleet fueling, or on-site fueling, are well-known by fleet managers that operate large fleets of trucks for their daily operations.

The most significant advantage of wet-hose fueling is the significant potential time and financial savings derived from the elimination of fuel storage on company grounds, more data-driven and responsive decision-making, and increased driver productivity.

Kevin Fisher, vice president of Strategic Fleet Operations, points out that Gas It Up is, at its heart, a technology-based company: “We have an app for the desktop, iPhone, or Android designed expressly for the mobile fueling business. It brings refueling into the future and safely delivers top-quality fuel directly to consumers.

With recent changes in international fire code regulations, gasoline wet-hose fueling is beginning to take hold, spurred by the desire to reduce COVID-19 exposure through the handling of gasoline pumps.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Volkswagen’s EV Charging Robot is a Genius Idea


Volkswagen is upping its electric vehicle game in a big way—and not with a car. It says it’s bringing into production a prototype of a charging robot that it debuted back in 2019, and it liked the original design so much that the company is sticking with it.

Basically, this friendly-looking robot is to provide “fully autonomous charging of vehicles in restricted parking areas, like underground garages. For the robot to work autonomously, EVs will have to be connected to a larger charging network in order to alert the robot to its presence—which isn’t something that hasn’t been accomplished yet.

There is a great bonus to this idea. The fact that EV charging ports aren’t always accessible to people with disabilities for a plethora of reasons: a lack of ramps, heavy chargers, etc. A friendly little robot designed to handle all those tasks will be a great help to the people who need it most.

Read the article at Jalopnik.

Massachusetts to Ban Sale of New Gas-Powered Cars by 2035


Massachusetts is joining California with a plan to ban the sale of new gasolined-powered cars by 2035. Governor Charlie Baker released a 2050 decarbonization road map that includes the reduction of emissions from passenger cars.

In order to make sure those EVs are actually usable, the state plans to expand the public charging infrastructure to take into account that many people don’t have a garage in which to charge an electric vehicle.

The initiatives by California and now Massachusetts could be the beginning of a trend by states to slowly ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles. President-Elect Joe Biden has a plan to speed up the electrification of vehicles in the United States that includes replacing the country’s fleets with EVs.

Read the article at MSN.

10 Automakers Fulfill Automatic Emergency Braking Pledge Ahead of Schedule


Ten automakers have fulfilled a voluntary commitment to equip nearly all the new light vehicles they produce for the U.S. market with automatic emergency braking (AEB) – well ahead of the 2022-23 target.

“This voluntary effort is succeeding in getting an important crash prevention technology into vehicles quickly,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “It’s great to see AEB become a mainstream safety feature that’s now standard equipment not just on luxury cars and SUVs, but on affordable models as well.”

In addition to the 10 manufacturers already meeting the AEB commitment, another three — Ford, Honda and Nissan — put the technology on 9 out of 10 vehicles they produced in the last year. Two automakers were in the middle of the pack, with Kia equipping 75 percent of its vehicles with AEB over the past year, followed by Porsche at 55 percent.

Read the article at IIHS.

Tesla Driver Charged with Dangerous Driving for Speeding While Sleeping


During the summer of 2020, 20 year-old Leran Cai was spotted on a highway somewhere between Edmonton and Calgary, fully reclined in the driver’s seat of his 2019 Tesla Model S. By all accounts, the driver was asleep whilst the car was traveling at a speed as high as 150 km/h, driving itself on Autopilot.

He has now been charged with dangerous driving, a criminal offense, but on top of that charges for speeding have also been added. This is the first such case ever in Canada.

The law in the Canadian province of British Columbia is not very clear on autonomous and semi-autonomous driving systems in automobiles, but it certainly does not state that the driver can let go of the controls and take a nap behind the wheel. Cai is scheduled to appear in court on January 29 , 2021 and there is little chance he will be able to dodge these charges (especially since he’s been charged with other driving-related offenses in the last few years).

Read the article at InsideEVs.

Mobility Today

McKinsey & Company

COVID-19 swept across the globe in a matter of months, jeopardizing lives, upending businesses, and setting off a worldwide economic slump. Within the mobility sector,  suddenly, private cars are in and shared rides seem to be out.

Access to micromobility options—lightweight vehicles such as bicycles, e-scooters, and mopeds—will be important, as will safety and health issues. The pace of change will continue to accelerate in all areas, including connectivity, autonomous driving, and urban transport.

Government planners are constantly making mobility decisions, since they must design car lanes, pedestrian walkways, EV-charging infrastructure, and much more. Since the pandemic, city leaders have been especially active in making infrastructure changes that affect mobility. Regulators are expected to become even more active within the mobility sphere.

Read the article at McKinsey & Company.


Traffic Safety

Car and Driver

More than 35,000 people a year are killed, and some three million are injured, in vehicle-related crashes in the United States each year. Fortunately, there are a lot of people and organizations that work all year, every year to try to bring those numbers down, and we all want that.

In the second quarter of 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions took hold, traffic volume decreased at a pace greater than fatalities. “Drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seatbelts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” How this will change as we move (we hope) out of the pandemic in 2021 will be interesting to watch.

President-Elect Joe Biden has tapped Pete Buttigieg to be his transportation secretary. His tenure is expected to include a national Vision Zero strategy to reduce or eliminate traffic casualties, a focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety, rural-road safety investments, and increased funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Read the article at Car and Driver.


New Vehicle Offerings

The Detroit Bureau

It’s been a challenging year for an auto industry and, like pretty much everyone else, you can expect some real celebrations as we enter 2021, even though it could be many months before things come close to what might be called “normal” again.

Between work-at-home orders and factory shutdowns, 2020 hammered the industry — among other things leading to significant shortages of SUVs, CUVs and pickups. The COVID-19 pandemic also put a number of key product programs behind schedule, some models due out at the beginning of the model year likely not to show up until the first quarter or even later.

If anything, that means 2021 will bring a veritable avalanche of new offerings. As you’d expect, they’ll be skewed towards light trucks, that segment now accounting for roughly three out of every four new vehicles sold in the U.S. But we’ll still see some significant new sedans, coupes and even a few sports cars. And 2021 will see a rapid ramp up in the rollout of long-range battery-electric vehicles and other green products.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

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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