NAFA 2019 I&E Investigates Broad Changes to Fleet

Select Year to View:

Release date: 7/2/2019

NAFA 2019 I&E Investigates Broad Changes to Fleet
By Donald Dunphy

At no time in recent history have fleet professionals needed to consider so many shifts to their fundamental work requirements. It’s not a surprise. Each day, the business media buzzes with reports concerning the continued rise of electric and autonomous vehicles, the integration of drone technology into everyday delivery practices, and the implications these changes might have on the tried-and-true business model.

The themes of disruptive technologies and mobility were threaded throughout NAFA’s 2019 Institute & Expo, which took place April 15-17 in Louisville, Kentucky, and culminated in a multi-session track on the last day devoted to “the
mobility revolution.”

Don’t Fear the Hoodie - A bit of perspective is necessary. The whole world is changing as technology advances year over year. Fleet and mobility are a major part of this, but make no mistake – this is a reflection of a global shift in absolutely everything we know and do.

Chris Riddell, a highly acclaimed, award-winning global futurist and speaker on emerging trends and highspeed
change, presented the first keynote of I&E and opened some eyes in the process.

One of his most provocative points was that fleets should stop anticipating the autonomous revolution. It’s not only
already here but is reshaping our present in extraordinary ways. As a matter of fact, 2019 marks the 10th anniversary
of the launch of Google’s self-driving car project. Not long after, Tesla Motors introduced its “autopilot” function, and
the rest of the OEMs could no longer avoid the inevitable and began investigating the technology. With lane departure equipment, self-parking vehicles, and more, we have been living with degrees of vehicle autonomy for the past decade,
Riddell noted.

Even as news reports insist “Level 5 – Full Driving Automation” remains many years away, Riddell insisted that is a viewpoint seen through the eyes of traditionalism. Considering Moore’s Law – the observation suggesting that
processor speeds or overall processing power for computers will double every two years, resulting in shorter periods
between transformative innovations – and the generation of “digital natives” who have never known a time without personal computers, smartphones, or the internet of things, quantum leaps of advancement are less likely to come from a boardroom.

Rather, they’re more likely to come from the bedroom of an individual looking at the world in a radically different way,
Riddell said. That person has access to data that once took multiyear campaigns to accrue and benefits from instant
knowledge about the marketplace. The only thing slowing them down, Riddell posited, was capital, yet venture
capitalists continue to seek out these “hoodie-wearing” future pioneers. He said these barriers to breakthroughs are becoming more porous as individuals work around limitations that previously delayed progress.

Can Telematics Lead to Negative TCO? - Among many “hot topics” at I&E, data emerged as the dominant subject: how to get it, how to use it, and the potential risks and liability of not doing so. Tony Candeloro, Senior Vice President-
Technology and Operations for Holman Strategic Ventures, and Matt Stevens, GEOTAB’s Vice President of Electric
Vehicle & Connected Car Technology, insisted that telematics in the modern fleet is a necessity and may even pay
for itself.

Candeloro kicked off a telematics-focused session by estimating that roughly 1.8 million telematics units were installed by the end of 2018. Overall fleet adoption hovered around 26.6% in 2017 yet is poised to reach 49.7% of fleets within four years.

Continued at: