Technology is playing an increasingly critical role in reducing costs and improving safety across all fleet operations and the march of sophisticated solutions will continue with the imminent introduction of autonomous vehicles.
Savvy fleet decision-makers are increasingly turning to technology in all its guises to help manage their vehicle operations and this year’s Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM) Annual National Members’ Conference will deliver further thought-provoking insight.
ICFM is dedicated to advancing the profession of car and light commercial fleet management. Its qualifications are viewed as the de facto stamp of approval for employees with fleet responsibility whether as full-time professional fleet managers or as part of an HR, finance or procurement role. ICFM currently has almost 800 members that are on the road to, or have achieved, qualifications.
‘Using Technology to Reduce Costs and Improve Safety’ is the theme for this year’s Conference taking place on Tuesday, November 8. The event is being hosted by headline sponsor BMW Group and takes place at Mini Plant Oxford.
Company car and van drivers may not realise it, but the journey to the ultimate autonomous vehicle is already underway with most new vehicles featuring a wealth of technology that is already taking over functions from people at the wheel including: safety-enhancing collision warning systems, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring.
But what’s next? Experts from BMW and, it is hoped, the government-backed TRL (Transport Research Laboratory)-led GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) driverless car project will provide an insight into the future. They will explain how tomorrow’s company cars will further help to reduce fleet operating costs and improve road safety.
Managing the UK’s ‘grey fleet’ - employees that use their own cars on business journeys - continues to be a major challenge for many employers. The Energy Saving Trust, which recently produced a report on the issue for the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), will outline measures that can be taken to cut the multi-billion pound cost of ‘grey fleet’ mileage in cars that are older, more polluting and potentially more dangerous than company-provided vehicles.
Additionally, ICFM board member Martin Evans, managing director of industry-leading asset and driver management software company Jaama; Nick Walker, managing director telematics at motoring organisation RAC, a Conference co-sponsor; and Jay Parmar, director of policy and membership at the BVRLA, will join a question and answer panel discussion that will address issues around:
- Data protection, cyber security and regulatory change challenges for fleets from the drive towards autonomous vehicles
- The game-changing role telematics can play in managing fleet costs and improving occupational road risk management
- The role of cutting-edge vehicle and driver management software in operating a cost-effective and safe fleet.
Additionally, special guest speakers are:
- Jacob Neil, chief UK economist at investment bank Morgan Stanley, who will focus on the economy and Brexit and the impact on business
- Paul McGinley, professional golfer and TV commentator, who captained the European team when winning golf’s Ryder Cup in 2014
- Dame Sarah Storey, British road and track racing cyclist and former swimmer and history-making multiple gold medal winner at the Paralympic Games in both sports
- Andrew Cotter, BBC TV and radio sports commentator, who will facilitate the Conference.
ICFM chairman Paul Hollick said: “The fleet industry is rapidly evolving and technology is driving that change in all areas of operation. This year’s Conference will provide delegates with detailed insight into future fleet management trends and how they can embrace sophisticated solutions to further reduce costs and improve the safety of their car and commercial vehicle operations.”
During this year’s 24th annual Conference certificates will be presented to members who have achieved ICFM qualification during the past 12 months.
The Conference will commence at 9.30am (registration from 8.30am) and finish at 3.50pm with delegates also having the opportunity to tour the Mini Plant.
Additional event support and sponsorship is being provided by Alphabet (GB), Applied Driving Techniques, Jaama, Opus Autoroute, Pendragon Vehicle Management, Selsia Vehicle Accident Centres and Vizion Network.