30 mar 22

"Increased coopetition is key to take full benefit of connected fleets"

The fifth edition of the Connected Fleets Conference witnessed intense knowledge sharing by and for corporate fleet managers and industry experts in Europe. Opinion leaders and acknowledged fleet managers displayed the importance of connectivity and sustainability for fleets in the coming years. And thorughout the day it became clear that an increased collaboration and coopetition is needed to further develop the capabilities of connected fleets. 

Talking about the critical components of a connected fleet and how to apply them, the Connected Fleets Conference speakers put data under the spotlight as the new challenge for fleet managers and companies. 

In a fleet ecosystem where new business models arise and advanced technology becomes indispensable, companies obtain essential information on setting their vision towards sustainability and connectivity. 

"Data is key for zero-emission"

"Data is the key to unlocking new business models", says Dr Tobias Schneiderbauer, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company. "The ecosystem needs to work together with the value." 

Emphasising the increasing collaboration in the ecosystem, Schneiderbauer says data is used most efficiently for workflow automation. Further automation will be available using the right data, and quality data would also enable further coordination more efficiently. 

Data is also the key to efficiently integrating charging into the whole environment. OEMs are increasingly working on how this connectivity can be gathered together to control charging efficiently. This is a great effort, as Schneiderbauer says that the global connectivity network across the mobility value chain to reach $45-70 bn by 2030. 

Another critical role of connectivity is being the key to zero-emission. While the regulatory pressure is also increasing, the ecosystem is swiftly turning towards zero-emission goals.  

The collaboration in the ecosystem is greatly enhanced compared to three years ago; OEMs are moving away from basic solutions are more open to collaboration, and a final push is needed to spread the cooperation in the ecosystem. Openness for integration also creates higher value for customers.

The use of data is an ongoing issue, and Schneiderbauer says it is especially causing debates about private cars. On the other hand, taking drivers' consent is a way to use data for analytics. The more data analysed, the OEMs can create use cases to create value. 

"Join the European video revolution" 

Sustainability matters more than we can imagine, according to  David Brazell, Channel Sales Director, EMEA at Lytx. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine out of 10 people live where air quality exceeds safety limits. One striking example provided by Brazell is the human error in car accidents. While a deadly accident occurs every 24 seconds, distractions caused by handheld devices exceed alcohol-related accidents in Spain. 

"It is not only conserving nature but also human resources", Brazell says for sustainability. In the last 22 years, Lytx has reached 800.00 vehicles and more than 1.4 million drivers, with data gathered from 240 bn km. The portal provides new collision insights so they can be avoided. Lytx focuses on two sets of data: Reactive data, showing the already happened cases but provides insights to prevent risks. On the other hand, proactive data is created by AI to prevent distraction. 

All the data provides new insights for drivers, companies and insurers. It is so enlightening that a customer of Lytx manages to predict the upcoming 30 days by using the data of 90 days. This ends up in a significant reduction in claims for insurers. "The impact of saving lives is insurmountable", says Brazell. 

Focusing on "coopetition", Lytx is working to enhance collaboration to be more proactive and increase communication to trigger implementation. Brazell calls for stakeholders to gather to increase data share and provide new solutions to improve sustainability, inviting everyone to "join the European video revolution". 

Brazell says companies are becoming more software aggregatable, and sensors are becoming to detect anything, including smartphones. Cameras even don't need to be open for privacy concerns but can serve as a detector. Brazell expects a 30%-40% growth in the telematics market in the coming years with the increasing collaboration. 

"Specific decisions intensify safety"

Connectivity is driving new business models and solutions, including connected insurance. Antton Peña, Founder and CPO at Flock, which is determined to eliminate old-fashioned insurance methods, says 100% of new commercial vehicles will be connected by 2025, creating a new super interesting environment.

The business models we are seeing today, like online grocery and ride-sharing, would not be possible before the invention of the iPhone, says Peña. "With the rise of connectivity, we will see new business models, creating interesting new landscapes." 

New business models need to eliminate traditional insurance models, which are creating problems due to simple price models, high manual processes and inflexibility by design. Emerging business models need to find an innovative solution, while almost 25% of fleet costs are insurance. 

Connectivity is the key to reinventing fleet insurance. Big data today enables Flock to quantify risks per meter per second. The power of computing lets people cut big data into billions of pieces to analyse and gain insight, says Peña. "If you put risk analysis next to an insurance product, you have an insight."

These insights are critical to improving the efficiency of fleets. For instance, you can pinpoint the number of risky drivers causing a certain percentage of risks in a fleet. Fleet managers need to know their targets and how to reach them; as Peña says, specific decisions intensify safety. 

In the connected insurance ecosystem, privacy emerges with several question marks. These issues must be underlined in contracts, says Peña. Flock always keeps the data between the client and while Flock accesses open sources and buys data to run analysis. According to Peña, the US is leading connected insurance, and Europe is showing development steps. 

Arval announces "Arval Connect" 

Arval has quickly discovered the benefits of connected technology and brought new solutions into the ecosystem, announced for the first time at the Connected Fleets Conference. 

Agnès van de Walle, Arval Connect Director and Rémi Brébant, Head of Arval Connect Product & Marketing, shared important facts on the benefits of connectivity on rising prices and presented the benefits of Arval Connect to address the problem. 

According to Van de Walle, increasing fuel prices and shipping costs, ongoing chip shortage and war in Ukraine will have a 5-10% impact on fleets in 2022. Connectivity is the solution for companies to deal with rising challenges and costs amid these problems.  

For a fleet where the total cost of ownership (TCO) is split as 60% usage and 40% asset, connectivity can provide up to €70 monthly savings and a 16% fuel cost reduction. This is not the only benefit provided by connectivity. The electrification potential of an average fleet with low daily mileage surges up to 30%, while the accident risk is reduced up to 25%, thanks to connected technologies.  

How does Arval set the electrification journey for companies? One example given by Van de Walle is quite impressive. A client with a 1,200 fleet which included only 1% EV, now turned into 78% EV through the analysis and recommendations of Arval. From identifying the vehicles to be electrified to detecting parking sports, powerful key performance indicators (KPIs) enabled the fleets' successful electrification. 

By optimising fleet usage, reducing accident risk, and optimising tax administration workload, connectivity helps fleets reduce TCO, become greener and safer, and make the mobile workforce more efficient. 

And what is Arval Connect work? According to Van de Walle, the solution "helps customers to materialise solutions and apply them to their fleets". From identifying company objectives to answering driver concerns regarding data privacy,  Arval Connect supports the client deployment and enables a wider set of rental services: Connected insurance, connected contracts, connected maintenance. 

"The market is becoming more mature, but the question is how to deploy and make connectivity a success?" says Van de Walle. "Telematics and leasing enhance each other." 

Arval is currently running a connected insurance pilot, while Arval Connect is active in 22 European countries, according to Brébant. By 2025, Arval aims "to connect" all of its vehicles. 

"Big Data and IoT can foster sustainability"

Data is inevitable to reach sustainability as there are infinite facts to prove this, according to Fabian Seithel, Associate Vice President, NCEE Sales & Business Development at Geotab. While road transportation is responsible for almost 15% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Geotab's customers' fleet can eliminate 1.25m tons of CO2 only by reducing 5% a year, says Seithel. Observing the potentials through big data, Geotab set the zer0-emission target for 2040. 

Data is such a popular trend is that you can also see it on LinkedIn. "Python is high on demand on LinkedIn; coding is needed everywhere", says Seithel. He says that without data, electrification is impossible, also reaching successful fleet management. Data unlock all the potential of a fleet to reduce carbon prints, from vehicle rightsizing to route optimisation and car-sharing. 

Towards the goal of sustainability, connected technologies will play an increasingly critical role. "Big data and Internet of Things (IoT) can foster great sustainability", says Seithel. Smart decisions combined with these technologies will improve preventative maintenance, prevent congestion and accidents, provide insights into how people and goods are moving. 

Reduced carbon footprint cannot afford fo without telematics - fuel consumption, idling, vehicle rightsizing, car sharing, driver coaching, route optimisation, vehicle maintenance, fleet electrification. 

5G will lay the foundation of intelligent transport systems

Dr Maxime Flament, Chief Technology Officer at 5GAA, says the organisation was founded with the need of "collaboration." 5GAA is bridging the automotive and telecommunications industry, conveying the messages between the two industries and helping the development of intelligent transport systems (ITS), which will be established on the innovations of 5G. "Two engineers must understand what they're talking about", says Flament. 

5G new radio (NR) will provide super-fast connection, super-low latency and availability of millions of devices to connect to the same area, enhancing the services offered by 4G significantly. However, it will not replace 4G but add on to the top of current technologies. 

"Technology is advancing more than the vehicle itself", says Flament. OEMs will be looking carefully at 5G as they will enjoy its benefits in entertainment, infotainment, safety and autonomous driving capabilities. 5G will also increase the capability of sensors and efficiency of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the years to come. 

5G will be at the core of vehicle-to-network (V2N), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X). Applied heavily in China today, these technologies will significantly improve the safety and performance of vehicles by setting automatic responses to road and weather conditions. A car can be warned by another, which gathers information from the area it can not access through sensors. 

One technology to dominate roads will be C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything), which will provide solutions to increase traffic efficiency, safety, and advanced safety in automated driving. 

Cyber security issues will arise as AVs and augmented connected technologies come into the picture. Flament says it will be a critical point that will be addressed with many solutions. For instance, suspicious vehicles detected on the road will be placed on a black list for security measures. 

"Bicycles are irreplacable" 

Amsterdam's population increased 14% between 2010 and 2020. The increased flow of people in business and social life pushed the rise of new mobility solutions. 

"Privately owned car is something of the past", says Jeroen Schutter, Programme Manager Shared Mobility, the City of Amsterdam, when explaining what Amsterdam is planning for the future. The parking spaces will decrease by about 10.000 between 2019-2025, and all travellers in the city will be emission-free by 2030. 

At the core of a car-free, multimodal mobility plan, bicycles stand as irreplaceable icons of transportation. "Everyone in Amsterdam has 1.2 bicycles, but it is still shared", says Schutter. Mobility-as-a-service (Maas) solutions don't fit Amsterdam well, but if you are looking for a rental car, you can 500 ready anytime. 

Amsterdam is working on a shared mobility program, providing access to zero-emission vehicles except for scooters. Apparently, parking for scooters is an issue in Amsterdam. People in the city are also keen to use more shared services, as 37% of moped users also use public transportation, and 75% of car users don't own a car. 

Fifteen e-hubs in small neighbourhoods, scalable to districts, cities and regions, are also pushing the incentive to ride-sharing and pollution-free transportation. "We embrace novelties", says Schutter, and the flux of young people to the city strengthens new mobility solutions. 

"Getting complexity over data must be the priority"

The last session of the Connected Fleets Conference was a panel discussion between telematics experts on how to reach corporate goals through connectivity. The standard view underlined one arduous task facing companies: Using data efficiently. 

Matthijs Honing, Director Consultancy and Strategic Partnership Executive of Ovidrive, believes there's still much to do in telematics in consolidating and analysing the data. "It is vital to use one platform. Companies are working with several business partners and struggling with data management. But there are solutions in place." 

Ovidrive is currently working on a new solution to boost data efficiency. But it is not just applying a solution. "Build up the as-if situation, use the data, and implement the action," says Honing. 

Frans de Rooij, Director of Product Portfolio, Webfleet Solutions, believes ensuring the communication between different use cases is vital. "This is an urgent challenge for businesses", he says. To make a fleet emission-free, using data-based insights is a must. Data produces answers to any challenges; how to electrify, operate, and optimise? One way of optimisation is to benchmark, which points out more actions. 

For Vanessa Govi, Chief Digital Officer, ALD Automotive, companies need to overcome the complexity of analysing data, gather it at one point and comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). "Clearly define what you want to do, and then identify the solution", she says. Companies need quality data to identify use cases and spot the right solution.
Assem Deif, Corporate Sales Director, MICHELIN Connected Fleet, emphasises that it is not solely a fleet manager's task to deal with data. Data is a global topic, and companies need the right partner to use it efficiently. "Just deploying a solution wouldn't help companies. You have to work with the right stakeholders and need the right people to work it." Deif believes assisted, and blind testing may bring up new use cases. "Build, test and communicate", he says. Most importantly, it is critical to make data actionable. Companies must have this skill through their engineers using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

The main photo shows Dr Tobias Schneiderbauer, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen