April 5, 2023

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Disruption & Adaptation

One of our most favorite contributors is Dr. Paul Atchley, eDriving’s Brain Scientist, who writes a brilliant column: Can Telematics Technology Prevent Distracted Driving Created by Technology? The statistics Dr. Atchley cites are indeed sobering, but he offers a path to effect lasting change.

We recently interviewed Arnaud Regent, Managing Director for Fleet & Mobility at Edenred, to learn about the global company’s entry into the US with their Edenred Essentials Visa Fleet card. Arnaud says, “Our intention is to be different from the market leaders in the US,”

Fleet marketing expert Ed Pierce writes a terrific column about the three big changes in digital marketing that impact fleet. You can meet Ed in person at the FMW Brand Acceleration booth 324 at the upcoming NAFA I&E.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: What Leading Customer Service Means

Wheels senior leaders talk openly about their passion for putting customers at the heart of everything they do — because they know they are making the world a better place.

VIDEO: Smart Service and Maintenance

  Efficiently and Affordably Managing Vehicle Repair and Maintenance

ServiceUp’s software-as-a-service solution helps drivers, fleet managers and shops efficiently and affordably manage all repair and maintenance tasks – resulting in increased vehicle utilization.

VIDEO: NAFA I&E in Baltimore

  ‘The Best of the Best’

The NAFA Institute and Expo in Baltimore is full of the best of the best – including a fantastic show floor with new and past exhibitors with some superb offerings for fleet professionals.


Fleet Veteran Tony Yankovich Joins RTA Fleet Veteran Tony Yankovich Joins RTA

RTA, a leading provider of fleet management information systems and fleet technology, is excited to announce that fleet-industry veteran Tony Yankovich has joined the company as Director of Advisory Services.

In this role, Yankovich will be responsible for leading RTA’s new fleet consulting group.

“We are delighted to welcome Tony to the RTA team,” said Jeff Jenkins VP of Sales at RTA. “His knowledge, coaching acumen, analytical mindset, and experience made it a no-brainer that he was the person to spearhead this new offering.”


Solera's Adam Danielson to Lead Safety Tech Panel Discussion at ATA SSHR Conference Solera’s Adam Danielson to Lead Safety Tech Panel Discussion at ATA SSHR Conference

Adam Danielson, Solera’s Director of Business Development, moderates a live panel of three motor carrier representatives as they discuss their safety technology success, how to best implement new technology, getting company buy-in, and what safety technology would benefit their operation in the future.

ATA SSHR Technology Panel • Wednesday, April 5, 11:15–12:15 pm, Booth 405 at Hilton Minneapolis. For more information, click below.

Solera Panel Information

For more information about ATA’s 2023 Safety, Security & Human Resources Conference & Exhibition (SSHR), April 4-6, in Minneapolis, MN click below.

ATA SSHR Information & Registration


Merchants Fleet Names Patrick Mitchell as Manager of Charging Infrastructure Merchants Fleet Names Patrick Mitchell as Manager of Charging Infrastructure

Merchants Fleet is expanding its fleet electrification expertise with the appointment of Patrick Mitchell as manager of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Mitchell will work closely with Vice President of Fleet Electrification and Sustainability Hari Nayar.

“Patrick’s expertise, energy, and vision are tremendous assets to our electrification initiatives,” said Nayar. “He is joining the Merchants team at a pivotal time, where his vast industry knowledge is essential to helping our clients navigate the evolving EV landscape.”


FMW Brand Acceleration: Meet the Fleet Marketing Experts at NAFA I&E FMW Brand Acceleration: Meet the Fleet Marketing Experts at NAFA I&E

Companies know that “Content is King,” but few have access to the fleet-savvy content creators who produce compelling fleet marketing copy needed for a whole host of marketing activities. FMW Brand Acceleration meets that need!

Whether you have internal marketing resources, rely on an agency, or call on multiple resources, FMW has a new, customized, fleet-specific branding solution that can meet any company’s marketing and lead generation need or budget.

Our team also includes advertising, branding, public relations, technology, and digital marketing professionals to create effective, multi-faceted branding and marketing campaigns. Just click below to get started today!

Accelerate My Brand Now!


Simplifying Fleet Fuel Cards

By FMW Editorial Staff

A new company has recently joined the US market intending to disrupt the industry with a simpler solution that brings a new level of value to fleets. The well-established, European-based company, Edenred, brought its fleet and mobility solutions program to the United States via its Edenred Essentials Visa Fleet card.

While this card allows users to purchase fuel, charge electric vehicles, and pay any and all vehicle-related expenses, it also simplifies the fuel card management chores for fleet managers.

“Our intention is to be different from the market leaders in the US,” says Arnaud Regent, Managing Director for Fleet & Mobility at Edenred. “So, we have developed a unique product that features on-the-go controls, advance reporting, and easy setup of card usage. You can set up to pay at the pump or in the store, choose your type of fuel, and so on. Our mission is to simplify the managers’ and drivers’ experiences.”



Crash-Free Culture

By Paul Atchley, eDriving’s Brain Scientist/Advisor

In 2019, I authored an article in this publication titled “Fleet Safety: It is You versus Silicon Valley.” In that article, I discussed how phones and apps are designed to promote user engagement and how that poses a risk to fleet safety.

That story has not changed, except, perhaps, for the worse. Crash data from the period of the pandemic shocked everyone. As the National Safety Council (NSC) reported in 2021, ‘a 24% spike in roadway death rates is the highest in 96 years’, despite decreases in miles driven. The data show we are still going in the wrong direction.

Science also tells us that the most powerful tool for behavior change is observing and recording the behavior and pairing those measurements with some outcome. Driver risk management provider eDriving has some excellent data showing how this works in practice. eDriving has a phone-based telematics solution, Mentor, which provides data on driving performance for each employee.



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, FMW Brand Acceleration

Digital marketing has undergone tremendous changes in the past few years due to the impact of technology, privacy, and changing customer behavior. These factors have disrupted the traditional marketing landscape and have forced marketers to adapt to new trends and strategies.

With the advent of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data, marketers have been able to gather, analyze, and use customer data in ways that were not possible before.

Privacy has become a major concern for customers, particularly in the wake of high-profile data breaches and scandals involving tech companies. And customers are also changing the way they interact with brands and consume content. With the rise of mobile devices, customers are accessing content on-the-go and on a variety of devices.

The disruption caused by technology, privacy, and changing customer behavior has had a significant impact on how marketers work.



April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads. Cell phone use — specifically, texting, talking, and social media use — has become the most common distraction. Other risky actions include adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating and drinking. By driving distracted, you’re robbing yourself of seconds that you may need to avoid a close call or deadly crash.

During a portion of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, from April 3 through 10, you may see increased law enforcement on the roadways as part of the national paid media campaign U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences – including fines – of texting behind the wheel.


Avoid the Worst States for EVs if You Plan to Buy an Electric Vehicle

If you live in Mississippi and are thinking about an electric vehicle, it may be time to reconsider. Unfortunately, your state is one of the worst for EV ownership. With a ratio of 9,275 residents per charger, finding a place to plug in can be difficult. In the entire state, there are just 317 total EV chargers as of 2023.

Another southeastern entity ranks just behind them in third. Kentucky may have one of the best driving roads in America, but it’s not big on EVs. With just 614 charging stations for electric vehicles, the third-worst state has over 7,300 residents per charging station.

via MotorBiscuit

The Rest of the Auto Industry Still Loves CarPlay and Android Auto

Last week, General Motors announced that it would be restricting access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in its future lineup of electric vehicles. And so far, it appears to be alone in that decision. CarPlay and Android Auto are wildly popular.

“We continue to offer Apple Carplay and Android Auto because customers love the capability that enables easy access and control of their smartphone apps — especially our EV customers because some EVs currently do not offer the features,” said Alan Hall, a spokesperson for Ford.

via The Verge

Hyundai, Kia Offering Free Steering Wheel Locks, Software Update to Combat Thefts

Hyundai has joined sister company Kia in offering free steering wheel locks to owners of some cars concerned about a spike in thefts. The company will reimburse owners who have paid for a lock out of their own pocket.

The move comes even though both companies began rolling out software in February that closes a critical security loophole in the frequently stolen cars. Certain older Hyundai and Kia vehicles became common targets for thieves after social media videos in late 2021 taught viewers how to steal them with a screwdriver and a USB cable. Both companies have begun installing software updates in millions of cars that, the companies say, should solve the problem.

via Kelley Blue Book

Jobs for Technicians

WyoTech, a leading automotive, diesel, and collision trade school, can’t keep up with the need for auto technicians, as demand has never been higher.

“We don’t have an abundance of new trucks that our fleets can purchase and just get rid of their old equipment,” John Alexopoulos of W.W. Williams said. “The old ones need to be fixed. So, the need for diesel technicians that are trained and able to jump right in is at its all-time high, and I only see it getting higher.”

“More people are beginning to attend trade schools than ever before. It is really gratifying to see our graduates go through our nine months training program and then get hired by companies that need technicians,” WyoTech CEO and President Jim Mathis said.



Challenges for Transportation Fleets

By Brian Holland, President and CEO of Fleet Advantage

Even though 2023 started a few months ago, the transportation fleet sector continues to face numerous industry, economic and environmental challenges that are certain to create operational turbulence.

Everything from fuel and equipment prices due to interest rates, ongoing driver and technician shortages, and a possible economic recession have many in the industry on edge as they navigate through the early parts of this year.



EV Charging in Europe

By Dave Bean, FMW Associate Editor

Both fleet managers and drivers of EVs in Europe may have just had their lives on the road made easier after ALD Automotive and ChargePoint announced they are taking their existing business relationship even further by offering a singular electric Mobility Service Provider (eMSP) to simplify the charging process.

With one dedicated app and an accompanying charge card, fleet drivers will not only be able to access an expansive charging network, but critical and necessary reports, such as payments and reimbursements, can also be administered and submitted for processing.


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Driving Dynamics
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Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

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.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

Wheels Donlen LeasePlan
Helping vehicle fleets exceed their business goals since 1939, Wheels Donlen LeasePlan is committed to truly understanding your unique needs and providing solutions to help you succeed.

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