Duty-of-care responsibilities and the launch of national road pricing could dramatically force up the amount of data fleets have to deal with on a daily basis.
Software company cfc solutions predicted two years ago that the amount of data would rise by a factor of 30 over the next 10 years – but the fast pace of change has meant company bosses have revised that figure to a multiple of 100.
Bosses say that when the prediction was made in 2003 plans for road-user charging and duty-of-care guidelines had not been announced.
Andy Leech, sales and marketing director at cfc, said: ‘We believe our initial prediction to be a huge underestimate. What has really made a difference are two factors – duty of care and the Government’s plans for national road charging. These two requirements alone could create a tidal wave of fleet data.’
Leech says fleets need to lobby the Government to ensure that new initiatives are backed by fleet-friendly technology.
He said: ‘Whatever fleets may think about the principle of road charging, it does provide a golden opportunity to adopt a whole new approach to fleet management.
‘We could be looking at a much more advanced type of fleet management than is currently possible and, because it ‘piggybacks’ the road charging infrastructure, it could be achieved in a very cost-effective manner.’
The Government has already announced plans to invest more than £200 million a year in a transport innovation fund as one of the first moves towards a national road pricing system for Britain. Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman said: ‘It is vital that we engage in the debate on road pricing.
‘We are looking at whether road pricing will change people’s behaviour. If it didn’t and just became a revenue collection device, it wouldn’t reduce congestion so there would be no point doing it.’