Fleet News

Data explosion will follow road pricing

FLEET managers should be prepared for an ‘explosion’ in the amount of data they are forced to handle when national road pricing becomes a reality, experts warn.

Specialists who forecast three years ago that the amount of data handled by fleets would increase by a factor of 30 in the next 10 years now say that estimate was much too low.

But they are reluctant to suggest a revised figure because the industry is so fast-moving.

The main reason for the revision is the proposed introduction of national road pricing, which will charge drivers for the number of miles they cover.

Fleet software company cfc solutions suggests that the London congestion charging scheme alone has resulted in the amount of data processed by some fleets increasing by 10%.

The company’s sales and marketing director, Andy Leech, said: ‘Thanks to duty-of-care issues, traffic cameras and congestion charging, fleets already have to process much larger amounts of data through their fleet software systems than just a few years ago.

‘If you add in the possibility of being charged every time a driver enters a major conurbation, then the amount of data can only increase hugely again.

‘Whatever charging and payment model is used, simply processing invoices will be a major task.

‘However, the real challenges will come where managers want to take some control over the road charges incurred, which the most proactive inevitably will. Monitoring the journeys that drivers make and the cost of road pricing will be an enormous task.’

A document leaked by the Government last month suggested that a national road pricing scheme could start next year.

Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander said he wants charging systems in cities to be compatible with each other, which would go some way towards reducing fleet administration (Fleet NewsNet, August 10).

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