Welcome to the December Product Rundown! We’re accelerating into 2020 with new driver communications, new MyLeasePlan app features and a brand new, fully-integrated telematics platform that just so happens to be the first in fleet.Welcome to the December Product Rundown! We’re accelerating into 2020 with new driver communications, new MyLeasePlan app features and a brand new, fully-integrated telematics platform that just so happens to be the first in fleet.

OneConnect reinvents telematics for LeasePlan

We are using interactive dashboards to help us visualize data in ways we never have before. With OneConnect, the brand new connected vehicles platform here at LeasePlan, we’ve found a way to help fleet managers analyze historical driver and vehicle data in one convenient place. We’ve rolled out OneConnect within our very own fleet to start, and we’re here to tell you the solution truly is a game changer.

So, it’s fully integrated – what does that really mean?

This means for the first time ever, we can visualize our telematics data and our very own proprietary fleet data in the same place. Traditionally, telematics offerings have been siloed off from FMC datasets, often available through a separate view that can be downloaded and manually integrated to drive deeper insights. And while this does serve as a perfectly viable solution, OneConnect takes it a step farther. The platform marries rich telematics data from Geotab with your fleet’s key data points, including everything from fuel tracking to vehicle oil life.

What kind of driver data can I see?

OneConnect is specifically designed to integrate data points from our driver scoring solution, OneScore, which adds a unique value to the platform. Fleets opted into OneScore can visualize driver performance according to OneScore data, allowing us to not only view our most risky drivers, but the least risky drivers in our fleet as well. This makes it easier for us to reward top performers for a job well done, and to establish a baseline for what good driving behavior looks like for our fleet.

For fleets not opted into OneScore, this level of detail can still be attained through event counts instead. Because OneConnect keeps tabs of speeding, seatbelt, harsh braking and acceleration events, these metrics are also readily available to best illustrate your fleet activity.

Want to test drive OneConnect? Reach out and let us know.

Digital maintenance guides get the ‘thumbs up’

You let us know digital vehicle maintenance guides (VMGs) are in demand, and we’re excited to announce they’ll be coming soon. While drivers can still use the printed VMGs found in their driver onboarding packets, the MyLeasePlan app will now feature a digital VMG for easier driver access. Some of the perks of this new feature:

  • Details of the last maintenance service will also be visible, as well as future maintenance mileage thresholds and their respective services
  • Mileage thresholds will be identical to those listed on the printed VMGs – there are no changes to the maintenance schedule itself
  • No need to worry about keeping track of the VMG or damaging it with shop residue

If you’d like to know more about any of the products or services you see here, feel free to reach out to an account manager to get started today.

Read More

Originally published on the Automotive Fleet website.

Matt Dyer marks his one-year anniversary as president and CEO of LeasePlan USA, a fleet management company headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga. He assumed this position on Jan. 1. Dyer previously served as the managing director for LeasePlan International and the CEO of LeasePlan UK, and brought more than 20 years of experience working for the fleet management company. 

Recently, Automotive Fleet spoke with Dyer on a variety of topics to get an update on the company’s Customer First program, its technology roadmap for digital transformation, and the other wide-ranging initiatives being launched by the fleet management company. 

Here’s what Dyer told us:

Automotive Fleet: As January 2020 marks your one-year anniversary as CEO and president of LeasePlan USA, what is your assessment of your first year? What were your goals in the first 12 months?

Matt Dyer: I have truly enjoyed getting my arms around all the U.S. market has to offer. One of my first objectives when I landed at LeasePlan USA last January was to assure we had a sense of ownership from employees to lead the business in the direction we want it to go. This started with empowering each employee to put the customer first and assuring we had a culture and values in place to communicate this mission across the organization. 

From there, our Customer First program was born. This initiative – one of my key goals – is all about improving the driver and fleet manager experience, and we’re already making good progress. It is just astounding to see the team members rally around putting the customer first. And it’s out of this momentum that our customer wins with our innovative initiatives. From new, intelligent communication programs that enhance how we engage with drivers to improving service levels, to leveraging data to provide more meaningful information to drivers along the way.

I am pleased to see our Customer First program already paying off for clients. In one use case, as we look to improve the new vehicle delivery process, we’re seeing a significant reduction in the time it takes to deliver a vehicle once it arrives at the dealership. 

As you can see, this focus on a more digital and user-friendly customer experience is a top initiative. This carries over into product innovation as well. Fleet managers in the U.S. have huge opportunities to leverage the rapidly evolving benefits of technology coupled with connected vehicle services to deliver data-driven dividends for their organizations. I am extremely proud to see the transformation our team has led to provide flexible, cost-effective solutions that are integrated to provide 360-degree views of overall fleet performance and driver behavior.

Quite honestly, there have been many achievements in the short span of one year. As far as an assessment goes, my take is that we have an incredibly talented team here at LeasePlan USA who care deeply about our customers’ success. We are uniquely positioned to provide flexible leasing solutions, and our robust consulting program enables our clients to maximize their fleet budgets. Truly, our global service offerings far outweigh any other solution. 

AF: In the next 12 months, what are your short-term and long-term goals to grow the LeasePlan USA portfolio? How will LeasePlan USA differentiate itself from its competitors in the marketplace?

Dyer: As with any year, improving the service we provide our customers and drivers is our first and foremost priority. Putting the customer first — and at the heart of everything  we do — is a mantra at LeasePlan, and it’s really something that I believe sets us apart from our competitors. 

Ultimately, we’ll continue to add value and deliver advice that helps our customers improve their business, and one of the key ways in which we’ll do this is to focus on our technological roadmap and our digital transformation. As part of this initiative we’ll continue to invest heavily in revolutionary technologies. LeasePlan is making fleet exciting again, and we’ll continue to offer the most agile leasing solutions and our out-of-the-box consultative services. We’re not your typical FMC in that respect. 

We also want to grow across all our key sectors: Corporate, International, Truck, SME, and Network. As for the long-term, we’re pushing hard to make sure we’re prepared in this new technological landscape for our clients. Flexible mobility services and complete digital sustainability will soon be expected of everyone in this industry, so we’re making sure in 2020 that we’re ahead of the curve and that we’re positioned as the go-to experts.

AF: What is LeasePlan’s industry-wide outlook for the U.S. commercial fleet market for 2020 and beyond? 

Dyer: We view the U.S. fleet market positively as there are great opportunities ahead. It’s also an important element of LeasePlan’s overall country network and crucial for our leadership role in the international segment. Though there are a growing number of economic clouds that we may have to navigate, LeasePlan is very well placed to support our customers and collaborate with our key suppliers moving into 2020 and beyond.

This is also a transformational era for transportation. Key decision makers are moving fleet strategy from the bottom line to the top line, and as more customers are looking to outsource and get support for key administrative areas of their fleet, LeasePlan can step in to help. Our ‘As-a-service’ offerings are going to revolutionize the way we do business, but we’ll always treasure the direct, personal connections we have with our clients. 

AF: What are LeasePlan’s initiatives in meeting the needs of its U.S. headquartered multinational clients? What role can LeasePlan USA play in helping to streamline governance of multinational fleet operations and to harmonize the services LeasePlan offers on an international level?

Dyer: Having previously been managing director of LeasePlan International, I can tell you from experience that the success of global relationships comes from having great relationships in place at both a country and an international level. The first job, therefore, is to deliver a great service on a country basis for our customers.

We then need to add value at both the global and local levels through reporting, consultancy, support for fleet policy improvements, OEM selection and new mobility and sustainability solutions when the time is right. Our knowledge on the markets in which we operate through wholly-owned LeasePlan entities is crucial given that similarities and differences clearly exist.

Also, the relationships that we have with our LeasePlan colleagues supporting international clients in other countries helps us to provide the right insight, at the right time.  

AF: Your prior experience as CEO of LeasePlan UK focused on leading key initiatives that put the customer first. What initiatives do you have in place to optimize and enhance the client experience at LeasePlan USA? What additional initiatives will you implement to further enhance the customer experience and customer satisfaction? 

Dyer: I’m glad you asked about this because customer satisfaction is a real passion of mine – and as I’ve already said I truly believe that LeasePlan differentiates itself in this area. We’re always looking to improve our products and services for our customers and drivers, and there’s a strong focus on this initiative through our Customer First program.

We’ve been working hard to identify key customer processes and to improve them across the business, developing and improving important customer tools such as the My LeasePlan app and ePlan. Developing our digital journey and digital touch points is critical as we are seeing that a growing percent of our clients and drivers prefer to interact with us almost exclusively through these channels. 

But we can’t be complacent. To continue being able to provide a top-notch service delivery, we are implementing a number of exciting initiatives, along with some key appointments within the leadership team. I’m pleased to now have Loni Metter as senior vice president of client experience. Loni and her team are committed to delivering industry-best service, listening to client feedback, setting standards and monitoring performance and making improvements to service based on what matters most to our customers. We also have a keen focus on driving employee satisfaction with several new initiatives, and this is imperative because it starts from within. 

AF: What new initiatives has LeasePlan USA implemented to assist clients in making their truck fleets more productive and cost-efficient?

Dyer: The application of our telematics solution and our predictive maintenance scheduling program have shown great results for our medium-, heavy-duty truck fleets.

Being able to visualize key data points and translate them into meaningful messaging for our clients to communicate to their drivers, has eliminated a lot of the guesswork for them. Now they know where to look to tighten up on productivity and cost-efficiency issues. We’re looking forward to extending our client participation in these services in 2020.

AF: LeasePlan foresees mobility solutions as the future of fleet management. How will this vision specifically manifest itself in commercial fleet applications?

Dyer: For any business-critical fleet we need to develop the capability to reduce and minimize vehicle off road time, because it’s immensely disruptive and costly. Any services, therefore, that support this and help us to reduce downtime, such as – Repair, Maintenance and Tire Management, Accident Management, extensive Safety solutions – are crucial. Second, we need to adapt flexible capabilities.

Modern business-critical fleets need different combinations of fleet and leasing solutions to work across short term project work through to long term needs. LeasePlan has the capability to meet this breadth of needs. Truly sustainable mobility is all about optimizing the use of data and adopting the right digital capability to enable clear decision making – decision making on powertrain, technology, and future fleet management for the right driver populations at the right time. Data and digital need to work hand in hand.

AF: How is the digital transformation progressing at LeasePlan USA? What’s been accomplished and what are the next steps to accelerate the rollout of digital solutions for your clients?

Dyer: We’ve made great inroads into our transformation journey in 2019, and our driver engagement studio has marked a huge leap forward for us. Ultimately, we’re aiming for the best user experience with the highest amount of automation possible.

Automating some of the more mundane tasks allows us to put human resources into more important touch-points, and allows us to have more meaningful interactions with our customers. Our intelligent engagement platform will really allow us to expand and scale moving forwards in 2020. 

AF: How do you envision vehicle connectivity and new data-centric fleet applications impacting the future evolution of the fleet management industry and LeasePlan’s service offerings?

Dyer: Telematics has come a very long way already, but we’re seeing increased levels of interest from clients interested in taking advantage of these never before-seen fleet insights, that’s why we developed OneConnect. Preventive maintenance planning can be entirely data-driven versus still using a discomforting amount of guesswork based on relatively unscientific tracking methods. The occurrence of accidents will also be drastically reduced. 

Being able to discover connections never considered before is just one facet of new total connected vehicle telematics systems, as our clients now stand to enjoy a much higher level of customer service. 

The importance of big data backing up these new technologies can’t be understated, and we’re going to need to make sure that we have the capability to manage this data and reshape it in a way that enables us to provide the best value for our clients. Maintaining a device and data agnostic design approach is also going to be essential to our success in this environment. 

AF: LeasePlan has embraced zero-emission vehicles and is one of the 10 founding members of the EV100 global initiative committed to accelerating the transition to EVs. As a charter member of the EV100 initiative, what are you doing to accelerate the adoption of EV fleet vehicles?

Dyer: Our role is to provide the right advice and data to identify what opportunities exist, while also recognizing that we’re here to support our customers’ businesses, so our recommendations have to make sense and be appropriate for the needs of the clients. We’re working closely with the OEMs to ensure we understand the pipeline of zero emission vehicles plus the expected volumes which will be needed for the U.S. fleet market.

Clearly, we also want to do our part and we will also pursue the right opportunities to transition our employee fleet to net zero emissions. This is a global initiative but it’s something we’re especially focused on here at LeasePlan USA. As our employee vehicles approach the renewal stage, for the appropriate driving patterns, we’re encouraging hybrid and EV adoption. 

Read More

Trucks. We sure do love them in America. We’ve all heard passionately loyal truck owners say they would never consider switching brands. And, looking around, we can easily see the love people have for their trucks by the thousands of dollars in customizations they make to them. Deeper-sounding exhaust systems, lift kits that raise common light-duty trucks to monster-truck levels, larger wheel and tire combinations for crawling over boulders and through the deepest of mud bogs. There’s no mistaking it, American truck owners revel in driving trucks that not only get the job done with ease but look amazing doing it.

The question is, what do the current attitudes surrounding truck ownership, both passenger and commercial, mean for the receptiveness to the clean, quiet, and often elegantly designed electric trucks currently being conceptualized by new startups and legacy brands? Not to mention acceptance of worlds-apart styling like Tesla’s Cybertruck?

No doubt, the use-case benefits of electric trucks are glaringly obvious if well-executed. Despite the potential long-term benefits though, there are many challenges for electric, and the first is the mental shift necessary for truck owners to switch from the proven performance of their diesel trucks to smaller, silent, emission-free trucks that appear less capable. And that’s just for personal light-duty trucks. Commercial light-duty trucks and larger Class 8 semis pose much bigger problems for the adoption of electrified drivetrains when considering the impact higher payloads and longer distances have on battery systems and charging infrastructure.

Personal truck purists may be a hard sell

The electric truck and SUV concepts we’ve recently seen from Rivian certainly look like electric vehicles both on the outside and the inside. Then there is the polarizing design of the Tesla Cybertruck that in no way resembles anything we’ve ever seen. This might not be a good thing when attempting to maximize the adoption of new technology. It’s not easy convincing salt of the earth, hard-working diesel dually drivers that turning on the heat will now require taking their leather work gloves off so they don’t mar up the pretty touchscreen control system. Some may say it’s not really a truck if you have to be that gentle with it, and understandably so. There is work to be done, after all.

Considering the light truck market is the darling of the automotive industry with dominant annual sales numbers when compared with other vehicles in auto-maker lineups, some legacy brands are cautiously contemplating anything that may turn off their intensely brand-loyal buyers. Daimler Trucks North America CEO Roger Nielsen believes the focus at this stage shouldn’t be on rushing to market, but on acquiring knowledge and building customers’ confidence in this technology. “I don’t want to get caught in some kind of race,” Nielsen said during a media roundtable in October. “What we’re trying to do is get the most experience that we can.”

Trucks with electric powertrains certainly possess the potential to displace fossil-fuel trucks when it comes to utility. The incredible low-end torque capabilities of electric motors can make doing hard-working truck things easier without the fossil fuel costs, air pollution, and mechanical malfunctions of diesel and gas motors. Additionally, when building a vehicle from the ground-up, there is more room for adding benefits such as onboard pneumatic systems that can both run tools and adapt the suspension to varying needs. Indeed, if the Tri-Motor Cybertruck features and performance stats are legitimate, buyers will have some real reasons to overcome any qualms they may have about the styling.

Perhaps some brands will serve truck buyers who prefer a more classic truck style by finding ways to simply swap out the powertrains, leaving the rest of the truck visibly identical or only slightly modified. In fact, Ford is developing an electric version of its F-150, rumored to roll out as early as 2021. They even made a publicity video of the truck pulling a train full of fossil-fuel-powered F-150’s. That’s at least one legacy brand going the traditional-style route. If there’s one thing the legacy truck brands know, it’s how to make trucks that scratch the style itch of people who prefer a truck that looks more brawny than graceful. It will be exciting to see how they introduce EV trucks into their lineups with styling that doesn’t discourage purists from giving them a chance.

Commercial trucks are a much bigger challenge

Challenging as it may be for electric to gain acceptance in the personal light-duty truck market, the big commercial Class 8 semis that play an integral roll in our country’s economy pose even greater challenges for electric implementation, but much less due to aesthetics or perceptions of weakness. It’s a no-brainer for any fleet to switch from diesel to a powertrain made up of electric motors and batteries if it can crank out the same miles in the same amount of time. Currently, that’s the main hurdle to overcome for companies working on electric technology for commercial trucks. “The coast-to-coast Class 8 sleeper, I think, is a long way from being electrified purely as a battery-electric vehicle,” said Darren Gosbee, Vice President of Engineering at Navistar, Inc. “The battery technology, we believe, has to go through another revolution of development to be able to get to a point where the energy density of the battery is there.”

Beyond the engineering struggles with long-haul trucks, there are still infrastructure considerations that can make electrifying even a local-only fleet cost-prohibitive or too disruptive to the organization. The massive batteries of EV trucks require staggeringly large amp loads to recharge, and the electrical service necessary to deliver the amount of power needed to recharge even a few EV rigs can totally max out the electrical capabilities of the building. Upgrading existing buildings might be too costly, or worse, it may be necessary to completely move operations to facilities in an area with more adequate support from local electric utilities. This, keep in mind, is the major challenge companies are having that operate local route trucks that are back in the depot each night. For long-haul fleets, the infrastructure complications go much further.

Most obviously, the biggest challenge for OTR fleets is that there needs to be significant charging infrastructure put in place along the routes that long-haul trucks frequent. Just think about all of the trucks filling up the lots and ramps at rest areas every single night. Most idle all night long to maintain power supplies for the comforts of sleeper cab living. What if instead, they needed to charge up? That’s a real problem.

Trillium, which was acquired by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores in 2016, is working on solutions for long-haul charging that go beyond reliance on the local electric utilities. The company, best known for its more than 200 public and private CNG fueling stations, is expanding into electrification through a partnership with EV Connect, an electric vehicle charging firm, to establish light-duty charging sites at four Love’s locations in California. Trillium’s managing director, Bill Cashmareck said the company is developing a vehicle charging system that would produce on-site power from generators, turbines, and potentially solar energy, giving customers the ability to take power-generation into their own hands and reduce or even eliminate utility charges. That concept could work at a public truck stop or even a customer’s private lot, Cashmareck said. “We think we’re coming up with some innovative solutions for the EV market if fleets choose to go that way.

It seems most of the talk about transitioning Class 8 semis to clean power is about going fully electric and not so much about developing diesel-electric hybrids. One reason is that diesel-electric hybrids still have to navigate the regulations required for diesel. “To me, a hybrid gives you the worst of both worlds,” said Martin Daum, head of Daimler’s global truck and bus division, “You still have to fulfill all the regulations on exhaust for any given diesel truck,” and then you add the challenges of introducing battery-electric technology. That said, there’s a compelling argument for having a powertrain configuration where diesel produces power for most of the trip and then switches to electric power for local deliveries in more sensitive areas where noise and pollution are a stronger concern. Johannes-Joerg Rueger, president of Bosch’s global commercial vehicles business, said in an interview at IAA, “For the last mile, being able to drive fully electric would certainly be a plus. It comes with a cost but would offer some additional options.” It seems that at least for now, the viability of hybrid powertrains in long-haul trucks is still up for debate.

While electrification for OTR fleets isn’t quite here en-masse yet, there is some near-term good news for commercial EV viability when it comes to light and medium-duty local fleets. With shorter trips, lower payloads, and trucks that are back in the local depot nightly, the light and medium-duty local commercial truck segments face far fewer challenges than the OTR Class 8 segment currently does, making them an ideal candidate for developing the technology further for their larger truck counterparts.

Peterbilt Model 220EV

One example is the new Peterbilt Model 220EV delivered to PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division in October of this year. Frito-Lay is starting off their Zero- and Near-Zero-Emission Freight Facility Project with six of the battery-electric medium-duty trucks in its Modesto, Calif. fleet. The zero-emission 220EV is powered by two battery packs for a total capacity of 148kWh, coupled with a Meritor Blue-Horizon two-speed drive eAxle. It boasts a range of more than 100 miles and only one hour needed to recharge, making it ideal for local pick-up and delivery routes.

Many more applications are in the works, too. “Peterbilt continues to lead the charge in electric commercial vehicle development. With Frito-Lay’s Model 220EV, Peterbilt will have 15 battery-electric trucks in three applications — city delivery, regional haul, and refuse — in customers’ hands running real routes and collecting real-world validation data,” said Jason Skoog, Paccar vice president and Peterbilt general manager.

This is exciting news for local delivery, refuse collection, and even tradecraft businesses with fleets, especially considering fuel consumption and maintenance costs are higher for city than highway driving, offering even greater returns on investment in electric fleets. Better yet, these companies will have even fewer barriers to adoption once localized power generation options become more prevalent in the marketplace. All this adds up to higher rates of adoption for light-duty and medium-duty electric trucks, paving the way for technological advances that will offer greater viability for electric in the Class 8 market.

One thing is for sure, and that is trucks of all sizes have an exciting new future ahead of them. Battery technology is only getting better, and the stakes for companies working on electric truck technologies are tremendous, creating huge incentives to invest in the research and development of electric truck tech. This means it’s only a matter of time until we enjoy remarkable new ways to love the trucks we drive and that drive the growth of our country.

Sources: Transport Topics, Automotive Fleet

Read More

A driver checking the details of his next stop on his phone. Low tire pressures from an overnight drop in temperature. Front brakes with only 22% of their pad life left. Any of these items by themselves might seem relatively harmless, but the fact is they often combine with other small issues, leading to much bigger problems for fleets. In the past, the correlations between such small details were difficult to discover for fleet managers, but the total connected vehicle space will soon have a new product to finally change that.

A revolution in telematics is coming that promises to provide fleet managers and drivers under their guardianship with far more relevant and actionable data than in the past, enabling them to turn mountains of problem-causing ingredients into manageable molehills that never materialize. With these upcoming advances in telematics, fleet managers will gain a 360-degree view of overall fleet and driver behavior no matter what make and model of vehicle they drive. There will be nearly limitless possibilities for not just lowering fleet hard operational expenses, but also the reduction of soft expenses like inefficient workflows, driver habits that increase labor expenses, and factors contributing to worker fatigue.

Telematics integrations enabled by the Internet of Things

Telematics isn’t a new technology at this point, it has been providing companies with fleets the ability to better forecast maintenance by gathering basic vehicle diagnostic data over the OBD-II standard for many years now. In recent telematics advances, more data point sensors have been introduced, providing fleet managers with much deeper insight than simple wear and tear part statuses and preventative maintenance forecasts. Now it’s possible to much more accurately forecast unexpected parts failures through benchmarking data, a major improvement as unexpected part failures are the most disruptive to the bottom line of all service issues because they affect not just equipment costs but driver labor costs as well. Paying an employee to wait in a broken-down truck is like setting a pile of money on fire, not to mention the ill-will it creates with the employee who might then have to work a longer shift to complete their work. As helpful as recent advances in the telematics space has been, a more complete view generated by a total telematics system has the potential to offer exponentially better returns on investment in the technology than ever before.

Before the advent of more advanced central control systems in vehicles, the boom in the “Internet of Things” (IoT) for consumer goods resulted in sensors and data transmitters being integrated into a plethora of in-home devices that connect with some sort of central hub like a cellphone or smart speaker like Amazon’s Alexa. We now have coffee makers that automatically turn on with the press of a phone’s snooze button, doors that lock automatically when leaving the electronic borders of a home, tiny keychain tokens that track keys and can even ring to assist in location, and cars with multiple cameras placed inconspicuously that are able to scan a 360 degree perimeter even in the rain at night. Because of this boom, the costs of the components that make all of this data connectivity possible have come down dramatically along with increasingly fast supply chains for ever-more integrations. Now, these technologies are starting to stream into the fleet management world to improve the lives of fleet managers, the drivers they are responsible for, end customers, and society as a whole.

Fleet asset protection possibilities

Protecting the movable assets that travel in fleet vehicles is also possible. Take for example a telematics integration like BeWhere, which utilizes low energy beacons to automatically track movable assets to better manage tools, equipment, inventory, and other non-powered assets. Fleets that have numerous onboard high-value assets stand to realize incredible savings with systems like this by reducing inefficient tool placement in vehicles, prevention of forgetting tools at the shop or customer location, tracking of inventory, and theft prevention. Integrations such as Quik Lokate utilize wireless Bluetooth sensors with temperature, light, proximity, door open/close, and humidity options which can greatly assist in product shrinkage for fleets in the food, beverage, and technology industries where inventories are more susceptible to environmental damage.

Of course, the most crucial assets to be protected using a total telematics system are the people driving fleet vehicles and those potentially affected by accidents with fleet vehicles. Integrations like the camera-based Mobileye Collision Avoidance System warn drivers of the risk of a collision a few seconds before it happens. The system works by continuously monitoring the road ahead and analyzing for the risks of oncoming collisions, unintended lane departures, tailgating, and pedestrian and cyclist hazards. The system can differentiate between vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, while also recognizing lane markings and speed limit signs. This all adds up to a fleet experiencing far fewer occurrences of harm to humans, damage to fleet vehicles, and even customer property damage.

Driver-centric integrations add even more value to data

The ability to measure and track nearly every asset a worker interacts with is a boon for sure,

but what may prove even more advantageous is the ability to detect driver habits that contribute to accidents and overall poor performance. The Guardian by Seeing Machines is a highly advanced real-time accident prevention technology, using sophisticated eye and face tracking software to detect driver fatigue and distraction. This device can provide immediate intervention through in-cab audio and vibration alerts to the driver. The system also provides fleet managers with daily and weekly reports along with notifications when drivers are at risk.

Additionally, the connected wearables market segment of the IoT revolution can be tapped to integrate worker biometric feedback into the data stream for even more granular data. Small biometric sensors can be easily embedded in unobtrusive wearables like wristbands. Think Fitbit, but for fleets. The implications of this are potentially massive. If companies can get a more detailed read on the true factors contributing to worker fatigue, for example, that insight alone could result in tremendous savings by leading to reduced insurance premiums, workers suffering from fewer overuse stress injuries and even better worker diet choices that help maintain steady energy levels.

Wearables can provide biometric feedback like blood glucose, blood alcohol content, and heart rate, but also can include accelerometers to measure worker movements in fine detail, such as time spent searching for tools in the work vehicle, average time waiting at suppliers or customers, or how much walking is done throughout their day. This provides a much clearer picture of the true factors leading to worker productivity loss. Perhaps stepping down out of the truck backward using a hand-grab leads to less fatigue than jumping down onto one foot first. The simplest of movements over an entire workday can at the very least add up to hours of lost productivity over time, not to mention workers’ comp claims from injuries. These devices bring to light such tiny optimizations with huge potential benefits.

The total connected vehicle – a true 360 view for fleet management

Of course, a multitude of sensors providing near-infinite amounts of data from both vehicles and workers is completely useless in raw form. What’s required is some serious computing power to crunch it into usable feedback that isn’t totally overwhelming to fleet managers and drivers alike. The new OneConnect vehicle dashboard by LeasePlan does just that. The OneConnect is a 360-degree fleet view tool that helps companies with fleets manage everything from maintenance and fuel costs to driver behavior, route mapping, and more. This central hub for processing information from an array of data sources regardless of vehicle make and model will be able to assist in finding unexpected links between data points that reveal new ways to optimize fleet costs and driver processes. Even more impactful is all of that data is aggregated and processed across a global network of many different fleets, enabling us to benchmark and implement the factors that contribute most to the bottom line. From a data science standpoint, this amount of data is far more statistically accurate, and hence, more relevant and actionable for companies in decision-making across the board.

Being able to discover connections never considered before is just one facet of new total connected vehicle telematics systems. The end customer also stands to enjoy a much higher level of customer service from companies implementing these systems. Shorter shipping times, fewer items lost in transit, less instances of forgotten tools or supplies that delay job progress, and more accurate arrival times for service appointments are merely scratching the surface of ways customers will enjoy superior levels of service. Overall, this technology enables a vastly improved experience for every stakeholder involved, from fleet manager to driver to end customer. Telematics has come a very long way already, but a sea change is approaching that will truly revolutionize fleet management in ways never before possible. Preventative maintenance planning can be entirely data-driven versus still using a discomforting amount of guesswork based on relatively unscientific tracking methods. Workers will be able to perform more consistently throughout the day instead of having as many peaks and valleys in their personal energy and performance. And most importantly, the occurrence of accidents will be drastically reduced. Millions of data points, generated by a multitude of sensors, all crunched into actionable feedback by a central hub will soon almost entirely prevent minor maintenance issues from building up to the point of problems.

Sources: Geotab, Automotive Fleet

Read More

LeasePlan executives will be presenting at two big industry conferences this week, Fleet Forward Conference in San Jose, Ca., and Connected Fleets USA, Atlanta, Ga.

Felipe Smolka, executive vice president, transformation, joins an exciting panel at Connected Fleets USA, to discuss Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and the challenges it will bring to the fleet industry. Today, MaaS is all about giving people customized and flexible transportation options, but how can existing – and indeed future – technology be leveraged for managing a shared fleet?

“I’m looking forward to the event and to contributing to what I’m sure will be an insightful panel discussion. Mobility-as-a-Service is an exciting area for fleet to move into, but also an extremely important one. MaaS is without a doubt the future of the transportation industry in general, and we’ve already made extensive inroads into solving some of the unique problems faced by consumers in this space. The trucking industry especially is ripe and ready for disruption, and I think we will see that with MaaS.” said Smolka.

For more information about the event, click here:

Greg Buckland, chief information officer, will co-present a session on data privacy and controls at Fleet Forward. With so much computing power packed into our vehicles today, and continuous streams of data being fed back and analyzed, we need to be careful to ensure that strict privacy regulations and protocols are always followed. And it can get confusing fast. This panel seminar takes the data conversation to the next step for fleets, understanding how the data will be accessed and data governance usage, obtaining driver consents to use their data, and much more.

Buckland had this to say: “I am excited to be part of a conference that focuses on tech in fleet. As our lives become more connected we must pay close attention to the increase of data in our vehicles and from our vehicles. Security often becomes a second thought to progress. GDPR and now CCPA are bringing security and privacy back into focus where it should be. More than ever it is important to establish best practices around driver and vehicle data to continue to harvest the benefits from it while keeping our clients’ information protected.”

For more information about the event, click here:

Read More