July 27, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

A Holistic View of the Driver

Data is flowing to fleet managers like an open firehose – from many sources and in varying formats. Adam Danielson points out that “to make the data actionable a few things need to happen: automation, normalization, and aggregation.” This creates a view of the driver, and is instrumental in helping organizations meet driver safety goals.

Range Anxiety? Stop Worrying

Range anxiety and charge anxiety may be disappearing, writes Mike Sheldrick. This is “thanks largely to battery improvements that already have pushed the average range of today’s EVs to over 250 miles.” In fact, 500 miles could even be within reach.

Enjoy this issue, and check in at FleetManagementWeekly.com for daily updates.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Trends and Opportunities in the Fleet Market Today

Industry expert Bob White offers his high-level view of trends and opportunities in the fleet market today.

VIDEO: UK Fleets

  Brexit Hasn’t Had a Significant Impact on Fleet

The impact of Brexit has been negligible on the UK fleet industry, but without the 11th hour trade deal it could have been catastrophic.

VIDEO: The Hidden Flaw

  The Hidden Flaw is Now Playing

There’s a critical flaw that’s hiding in virtually every fleet’s supply chain. Sometimes in plain sight.

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Omnitracs Announces New Evidence of the Risks and Cost of Distracted Driving in Latest Data Insights

Omnitracs, LLC, a Solera company, has published groundbreaking new insights on distracted driving in the trucking industry.

These insights, which aggregate and anonymize data from the SmartDrive advanced video-based analytics platform, help fleets understand operational threats and illuminate the inherent risks associated with distracted driving.

The data analysis clearly demonstrates that the most distracted drivers are less safe overall, commit significantly more fundamental driving errors, and drive faster than the speed limit compared to all other drivers.


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A Holistic View

By Adam Danielson, Sales and Business Development Director

Data is abundant in the fleet industry and can be overwhelming.

There is data flowing to a fleet manager like an open firehose from many sources and in varying formats.

To make the data actionable a few things need to happen: automation, normalization, and aggregation.

Fleet managers need to consume several different types of data to create a holistic view of the driver and accomplish their driver safety goals.

When data collection is automated it is possible to collect from additional sources – the more sources of driver data that can be consumed, the clearer the view of the driver becomes. To accurately assess driver behavior and create a holistic view, multi-sourced, real-time data needs to be collected and automated.



Range Anxiety

By Michael Sheldrick, Senior Editor

Range anxiety, a stumbling block for many may be dissipating, thanks largely to battery improvements that already have pushed the average range of today’s EVs to over 250 miles. Eventually, 500 miles might be within reach with still-better batteries.

That will put EVs on an equal footing with petroleum fueled vehicles as far as distance, but it still leaves another concern that could be called charge anxiety — how long it takes to fully charge an empty EV. To be sure, there is lots of talk about fast charging, supercharging, and maybe even “utracharging.”

In reality, range anxiety no longer exists for most day-to-day driving. There’s no need to fill up an electric vehicle, there’s only the need to top it up. That’s because for the foreseeable future, most EVs will likely be charged at home, plugged into a 120-volt outlet, Level 1 charger.

Presently, of the 2 million EVs on the road, 80% of them are charged at home. Estimates are there will be 20 million in the fleet by 2030, and even then, most will still be charged at home.



Electric Vehicles

By Kevin Koester, NTEA Senior Director

Electric vehicles. There, now I have your attention.

Automotive headlines today are dominated by news of IPOs, SPACs, pre-orders, and deposits for the growing array of last-mile electric vehicles approaching production in the coming years.

The emphasis on last-mile, while not new, has expanded as various startups shift or increase their focus from retail product development to commercial application. This shift is understandable as commercial fleets have the potential to make or break electric startup launch targets due to bulk order volume potential.

While recently attention has been on the last-mile space and fleets with dominant volumes, more EV startups are investigating the commercial market beyond last-mile delivery — the electric work vehicle.

Whether a pickup, cargo van or incomplete chassis, second-stage manufacturers make a vehicle buyable, even though they may not be the buyer.



OCTO Telematics and Ford Team Up to Provide More Accurate Auto Insurance Risk Scores

Ford Media Center

OCTO Telematics announced a new agreement with Ford Motor Company. By leveraging Ford’s connected vehicle data, OCTO will extend its market-leading predictive insurance risk score, OCTO DriveAbility Score.

DriveAbility Score combines Ford connected vehicle data, available on the majority of MY2020 and newer Ford and Lincoln vehicles, in context of factors such as weather and road type, with policy and claim data across a large pool of insurers to provide a score that is not only highly predictive of loss costs but is accurate from the very first trip.

Read the article at Ford Media Center.

Pavement That Wirelessly Charges EVs Will Be Tested in Indiana

The Drive

The Indiana Department of Transport recently announced plans to build a new wireless charging system as part of a research project: a quarter-mile stretch of road fitted with wireless charging technology embedded onto the pavement.

Magment’s technology works via coils embedded in slabs made of magnetized cement. Vehicles that want to charge from the system will also need a similar coil fitted in their base, which will then connect to whatever their onboard charging system is.

The idea in Indiana is to install the pads both as wireless charging options in car parking spaces and as part of the highway, so drivers can either pick up a quick burst by running through or more thoroughly top up their vehicle by parking, all without needing to mess around with different charger systems. Provided, of course, that they install the Magment under-car coil.

Read the article at The Drive.

Semi-Autonomous Ford Escapes Available for Rides with Lyft by Late 2021

Car and Driver

Lyft will soon offer semi-autonomous rides in select cities through a partnership with Ford and autonomous vehicle tech company Argo AI.

These still aren’t self-driving cars, though, as Ford says there will be safety drivers behind the wheel of these Escape crossovers equipped with Argo AI’s Self-Driving System (SDS) 360-degree lidar.

The semi-autonomous rides will be offered in Austin, Texas, starting next year, and Ford says it hopes to have more than 1000 of these cars in the Lyft fleet over the next five years.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

Electrify America Announces Doubling of Charging Network With 1,800 Stations and 10,000 Chargers


Electrify America is announcing what it calls its “Boost Plan,” which consists of a doubling of its charger deployment plan. While Electrify America was started through the EPA and CARB forcing Volkswagen to spend $2 billion on EV charging infrastructure in the US, the result is that VW now has the top fast-charging network open to all EVs in the US.

Electrify America is the largest, open DC (Direct Current) Fast Charging network in the U.S. This builds on the company’s plans to have about 800 charging stations and approximately 3,500 individual chargers in the U.S. by the end of 2021 and will increase the total number to more than 1,700 and 9,500 individual chargers by the end of 2025.

Electrify America will not only multiply its presence in established U.S. regions, but also add Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and Vermont, bringing Electrify America’s network to 49 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Read the article at Electrek.

Taxing EVs

The Columbus Dispatch

Policymakers are running up against the reality that the main source of highway funding – fuel taxes – has long failed to generate enough revenue for needed infrastructure improvements, and that will only get worse as electric vehicles become a greater share of cars on the road.

But one thing appears to be off the table for now: Asking America’s drivers to help foot the bill.

Infrastructure costs also don’t have to be borne directly by the users. General fund money – raised by other fees such as sales taxes or income taxes – can be a source of funding.

Read the article at The Columbus Dispatch.


Building Back Stronger

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

In a recent interview with LeasePlan USA CEO and President Matt Dyer, he expressed true excitement about the opportunities for LeasePlan and the industry at the mid-point of 2021.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we are building much stronger and are much more focused on how we want to take a step forward for the future,” Matt notes.

“Even though a year ago, we were facing down this pandemic, we have come out of it better than many other businesses. In fact, we grew by over seven and a half percent in terms of fleet under management last year, and we are on track to exceed that this year.”

Matt chalks up the growth to “working hard to put our customers first and seeking out improvements across the business.”



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Paul Atchley, Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida and eDriving’s Brain Science Advisor recently offered insight into the fleet industry’s efforts to combat distracted driving to Fleet Management Weekly.

“It used to be that there were just a few great examples of fleets that were doing the top three things companies must do to address distracted driving – first, develop comprehensive and specific policies; second, enforce those policies, and third, educate drivers about safe driving behaviors,” he recounts.

“Now we are seeing more and more fleets starting to get the message and paying a lot more attention to the issue of distraction. They are looking at their own crash rates. They see fleets with good policies that are experiencing much lower crash rates, often two-thirds lower!

In general, I think today’s fleets are going in the right direction.”


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