Today in Fleet – Thursday 10 August
All the key news in fleet…
July brings tough conditions for true fleet market
The UK’s true fleet market fell 13.1% in July, marking its second month of double-digit negative growth this year.
Figures from Dataforce show the decline compares to a fall of 7.1% for special channels and 6.9% for the private market, with the total market down by 9.3% – although this is against the backdrop of a record year in 2016.
Within the manufacturers’ true fleet league table, Ford and Vauxhall returned to the top two spots respectively, but neither posted positive growth. Both VW and Mercedes retained their positions of third and fourth, followed by Audi and BMW who both gained a place to finish fifth and sixth respectively. Nissan slid a couple of spots to finish in seventh and Kia gained a place to move into eighth.
In ninth place was Toyota – one of only two brands in the top 10 to post double-digit growth with a 42.7% rise, followed by Skoda in 10th place, which saw 25.6% growth.
Public ambivalent about autonomous cars
People in the UK are highly familiar with the concept of autonomous cars but opinions vary wildly as to whether they will actually use them.
A survey of 2,850 residents carried out by researchers at Cambridge University’s Engineering Department and the Department of Psychology for the UK Autodrive project found more than three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed had heard of driverless vehicles with 36% saying they would use them (‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’), 31% neutral and 33% opposed to using (‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’).
Pat Langdon, principal research associate at the University of Cambridge Engineering Design Centre, said: “There is obviously still plenty to be done in terms of educating the public – particularly when it comes to the potential benefits this technology could bring – but there is already lots of positivity in these initial findings.”
Redesigned smart motorway emergency areas roll out to M1
A Highways England trial of bright orange emergency refuge areas is being extended to the M1 smart motorway.
Already in use on the new M3 smart motorway, the restyled emergency areas are part of an ongoing review into the design and spacing of emergency areas on smart motorways, and feature bright orange road surfaces to make them easier for drivers to spot as well as discourage their use in non-emergency situations.
In total, 14 emergency areas using the new format will be added along the M1 between junctions 19 (Catthorpe) to 16 (Northampton) from this month.
Deadline looms for entries in this year’s ACFO Awards
Fleet decision-makers have four weeks left to make nominations for the 2017 Awards from ACFO.
Open to all fleets, not just ACFO members, the awards recognise the industry’s top vehicles, initiatives and suppliers’ products and services.
For more details and to make nominations, visit http://www.acfo.org/awards/nominate. The deadline for entries is 8 September 2017.
Drivers shun ‘pay-by-phone only’ parking spaces
Seven out of 10 (70%) of drivers say they are more likely to drive by rather than park in a bay which requires payment by phone according to a survey by the AA.
The AA-Populus Driver Poll of more than 16,500 members, carried out last month, found that cash is still the preferred option for those looking to pay for parking. However the findings also suggested that many councils intended to introduce new ‘pay-by-phone’ systems.