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Over half of fleets concerned over driver distraction from connected cars

More than half (51%) of businesses are concerned about their company drivers being distracted by in-car technology with the introduction of connected cars to their fleet, according to new research by RAC Business.

Connected Car

Over half of fleets are concerned over the issue of driver distraction from connected cars

Although it is widely recognised that Wi-Fi enabled vehicles will lead to increased safety features, the survey highlights fleet worries that access to the internet and email through inbuilt screens on the dashboard, may also lead to an increased level of driver distraction.

More than one in three firms (35%) also say they are worried about driver data being hacked following the introduction of connected cars to their fleet, and almost one-in-five (18%) are concerned that more autonomy through connected services will take too much responsibility away from the individual driver.

The research also finds that the information provided by connected cars may not bring the insight that fleets are looking for. The survey found that 83% of respondents think it will be used to diagnose engine faults, 72% believe connected technology will increase fuel efficiency and 67% think it will help to reduce wear and tear.

RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “While connected vehicles will benefit from being able to communicate with each other and with the environment around them to make driving safer, it may not necessarily be the case that it will deliver real insight on engine performance statistics and diagnostics. Fleet managers require consistent data from their fleet to be able to fully manage downtime and risk.

“A telematics device installed directly into the diagnostics port of the vehicle is the most accurate and reliable way of monitoring vehicle health and driver performance for each individual car, van or truck across the fleet.

“As connected technology develops further in the transition to autonomous vehicles, telematics will be even more important for businesses needing to understand vehicle and driver behaviour.

“Clearly all these new technologies will complement each other in providing businesses with unprecedented levels of vehicle support. But at the moment, from what our research tells us, there is still work to do in terms of communicating exactly what connected technology means for drivers and fleet managers.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.