19 mar 21

Connected Fleets Conference: “Data without integrity is just numbers”

The 2021 Connected Fleets Conference brought together over 350 fleet and mobility professionals eager to expand their expertise on optimising fleet efficiency. This session had a particular focus on efficiency, connectivity and last-mile mobility.

Because of the C word, the event was online-only, but that was no obstacle for interaction between participants coming from 33 countries. Close to 200 one-to-one virtual meetings took place on the online platform.

Franck Leveque (pictured, right), partner and vice president Automotive & Transportation at Frost & Sullivan, set the scene for the conference in a first session. “Technology and connectivity are fundamental for vehicle fleet efficiency, whether it’s efficiency in cost, safety, sustainability or last-mile mobility,” he said. “Finally, connectivity is making it to the top of the agenda of fleets.”

Connectivity penetration

The number of light commercial vehicles equipped with connectivity is growing. In the field of last-mile deliveries, for instance, the opportunities are plentiful. Connectivity allows processes to be optimised and costs to be reduced.

But connectivity can also create new services that were hitherto impossible, like demand-responsible transit (DRT), which is expected to explode in the coming years. This alternative to fixed-route public transport systems can lead to an increased utilisation of assets and an extension of the network coverage, even including more rural areas. An example Mr Leveque mentioned is Via, which is already operating in 20 countries. The next step to expect in this field is autonomous vehicles.

Data integrity

Connected fleets gather data, but that data needs to be processed appropriately, said Bob Zimmer, Supply Chain Fleet Technology Senior Manager at Pepsico.

“Data without integrity is just numbers,” he said. His company has accumulated a huge database of fleet data, but it is important to know what you can use it for. And it needs to be correct, which also implies it needs to be complete. Ideally, data for all vehicles should be gathered and not just for part of the fleet.

Mr Zimmer pointed out life-to-date cost analyses are an example of why that data is important. The result can be surprising, as these analyses can bring to light that newer assets are more expensive to maintain than older ones and therefore need to be replaced earlier.

Importantly, data makes it possible to base decisions on facts and not on impressions, said Nikola Vuckovic, Global Senior Manager Market & Fleet Safety, Philip Morris International.

Fleet Europe is organising an online Fleet Week with a focus on LCVs from 26 April to 30 April 2021. Find out the full programme and register now!

Image copyright: Shutterstock

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck