Four key trends outlined in new BT Fleet Operational Insight report
Operational fleet market “in a really good place”
The fleet industry has bounced back from the impact of the post-recession years, with higher vehicle demand from corporate fleet buyers generating greater confidence among suppliers across the industry, from manufacturers to service suppliers.
In particular, the research – carried out by Populus among over 360 operational fleet managers and 320 operational fleet drivers – finds that 59% of respondents think the UK fleet market is currently performing better than recent years while 66% think it’s likely to continue growing in the next few years.
A majority (55%) feel positive about the Brexit referendum outcome, whilst just 31% feel negative (14% claim to feel neutral).
However the report warns of the need for strategic planning to help mitigate the effects of any future downturn.
Technology is key to dealing with many fleet challenges
Fleets are waking up to the benefits of telematics and its link with many strategic fleet challenges.
In fact, the report finds that 74% of fleets containing 100+ vehicles are using telematics, and 51% of all fleets. The main reasons for its adoption include reducing unnecessary mileage, monitoring driver behaviour and improving fuel efficiency.
However, fleets face challenges with finding the time, expertise and authority to act on the data provided by telematics and the research also identifies that more work needs to be done to overcome driver fears over privacy.
Effective manager-driver engagement is vital
Although there is no accepted or standardised way for fleet managers to engage with their drivers, the research does identify the importance of a strong manager-driver engagement, including to ensuring drivers consider the impact their driving behaviour can have on the reputation of their organization and the risks involved with driving for work.
Fleets open to future technology
Although diesel remains widespread among fleets, the report shows that many businesses are already looking to the future, driven by increasing air quality concerns and the wider corporate social responsibility and environmental pressures. As a result, one quarter (24%) of fleet managers think that the proportion of diesel-fuelled vehicles within their fleet will decrease over the next five years.
And 41% of managers think that fully autonomous vehicles will make up a proportion of their fleet within the next 10 years, rising to 61% amongst those in fleets consisting of 100+ vehicles. However, only 19% of drivers think AVs will be on fleets within the next 10 years and 21% percentage of fleet drivers who feel threatened by the prospect of autonomous vehicles.
BT Fleet Operational Insight report in numbers:
30% – The average proportion of electric vehicles that fleet managers expect their fleet to consist of in 10 years’ time.
62% – Proportion of fleet managers likely to increase their spending on hybrid and electric vehicles in the next few years.
33% – Proportion of fleet drivers who have had an accident or near miss in the last 12 months.
60% – Proportion of fleet managers who think that the spread of ultra-low emission zones will have a strong impact on their businesses.
67% – Percentage of fleet managers who say their organisation would benefit from advice on how to use their telematics data.
46% – Percentage of fleet drivers who feel positive about their company’s use of telematics – compared to 25% negative and 29% neutral.