Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents to the latest BVRLA Fleet Technology Survey strongly agree that more standards and regulation are required to control access to and use of vehicle and driver data.
This year’s survey collected the views of more than 85 fleet managers, rental operators and leasing companies. A quarter of them cited data concerns as the biggest threat to the take-up of new fleet technology.
Announcing the results to more than 160 delegates at the BVRLA’s Fleet Technology Congress today (July 6), chief executive Gerry Keaney highlighted some of the changing expectations when it came to accessing data. More than 54% of survey respondents said that in-built telematics would become the most common source for driver and vehicle data within the next five years, with 29% claiming it would come via smartphone fleet management apps and just 15% believing that plug-in devices would be most prevalent.
Responses to this year’s survey suggest that there have been no significant growth in the uptake of telematics, with around two-thirds saying that less than a quarter of their fleets were fitted with the technology. Cost is becoming less of a factor, however, with just 20% of people saying that it was a barrier to uptake, compared to 34% in 2015.
This may have something to do with the fact that fleet technology budgets are increasing. More than half (54%) of respondents said that their budget would rise this year, with just 1% expecting a decrease.
Overall attitudes to fleet technology were similar to last year, with 26% of those questioned claiming that their organisation was an early adopter of new vehicle technology and 60% saying that they would wait until they could demonstrate a clear return on any investment. Just 14% of those answering said that their company would be one of the last to adopt.
The main exceptions to this view were for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, where 49% said they were early adopters, and for advanced fleet management platforms, where 29% believed that their organisation would be one of the last to invest.
Road safety remained a key theme in this year’s survey. Looking forward to 2020, respondents said that Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and in-car cameras would be the most important safety technologies for fleets.
Keaney also used his presentation to unveil the BVRLA’s new Fleet Technology White Paper. This 32-page publication details the changes affecting the vehicle rental and leasing industry, covering autonomous driving, connected cars, cyber security, data, fleet management, future mobility models and powertrains.
Keaney said: “The automotive industry will experience more change in the next decade than it did in the previous 50 years. But what we are seeing is not one revolution - it is three. We are seeing radical changes in the way vehicles are powered, operated and used. These three revolutions will benefit society but create new challenges for fleet operators.”
The BVRLA chief executive also told delegates that the association had identified the priorities it needs to address on behalf of members.
“As the fleet sector’s largest and most influential trade body, we’ve already identified the priorities we need to address on behalf of our members. We’ll be working with policymakers and vehicle manufacturers to establish some standardised, industry-wide contractual terms and operational procedures surrounding the area of connected car services and vehicle data.”
“We’ll work with the Information Commissioner’s Office and other authorities in keeping members up-to-date regarding the key cyber security and data protection issues for our sector, and we’ll regularly update our Code of Conduct to ensure that the BVRLA quality standard benchmark continues to provide the same assurance for customers using a new generation of mobility and connected vehicle services.”