27 avr 22

Data sharing and collaborations are key for success in fleet management

The first Webfleet Mobility Conference 2022 has been a grand virtual gathering of experts all over the fleet industry and digital technologies, discussing the trends and evolutions in the connected world and providing solutions for emerging challenges. 

Jan-Maarten De Vries, CEO of Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, opened the virtual conference by expressing the aim of answering one question: What do you need to start doing today to be ready for 2032? Emphasising the power of data in mobility, De Vries says CASE, connected, autonomous, shared and electric, is a part of the entire puzzle the fleet industry is trying to solve. While the commercial vehicles, the drivers and even the cities and business models are changing, data intelligence will hold the key to businesses making the right decision, he says. 

The fleet industry is stepping into Mobility 3.0 and Telematics 3.0, which offers enormous potential for change, driven by innovations. The first Webfleet Mobility Conference provided a comprehensive view from the perspective of fleet managers and entrepreneurs, and futurists. 

How is data used to convert cities and fleets into electric? 

Raghunath Banerjee, VP of Data Solutions & Innovation at Bridgestone Mobility, says the CASE mobility revolution faces several challenges. Data is vastly underutilised, and Webfleet is creating an integrated data ecosystem for fleets, mobility providers, and smart cities and unlocking use cases through data. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) road surface index will help precisely detect road surface conditions which will help city control towers to boost safety on roads. Data will enable cities to overcome charging infrastructure planning challenges. At the same time, open data platforms will allow people to run experiments on several aspects such as driving behaviour patterns, vehicle data and CO2 emissions, eventually offering solutions for safer, sustainable and efficient mobility. 

One great example is the electrification programme run by Dundee City Council Corporate Fleet Operations Manager Fraser Crichton. As the Scottish government aims to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032, Crichton has kicked off a programme that has replaced 850 vehicles in the fleet with EVs, including bin lorries and electric sweepers, electric minibuses, and also transforming the local taxi industry. The fourth charging and park station will be operational this year, the first three exclusively providing charging and parking area for different types of vehicles. Crichton says renewable energy is vital in the programme, in which the Dundee City Council is relying on solar and wind power to charge up their batteries. 

The UK government follows the same ambitions, as the goal is to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Andy Eastlake, CEO of Zemo, says the targets include making all light goods vehicles (LGVs) 100% zero-emission by 2035 and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) zer0-emission between 2035 2040. As 75% of the fuel in the HGV sector is consumed for long-haul deliveries, the transmission of these vehicles eventually takes place even though it is hard, says Eastlake. While the trial of new cars in logistics will take place, the application of renewable energies also plays a crucial role in this process. The Renewable Fuel Assurance launched in March 2021 is to push biodiesel, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and biomethane as alternative fuels, backed by five companies. Eastlake says companies' interest in eliminating tailpipe emissions is vast, thanks to great public support. 

Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and Co-founder of Zap-Map, take note of the rise of en-route charging stations in the UK. This segment has grown over 60% in the last year, while the market has expanded 36%, Shufflebotham says. The en-route charging segment is boosted by private companies and partnerships, offering chargers with a range of 100-350 kW. En route charging stations are critical with their charging speed, especially compared to home and work chargers, which count up to more than 400,000 in the UK today. Zap-Map is easing the payment solution for drivers by providing simple cross-network payment through a partnership with Allstar. Lack of payment solutions is one of the biggest concerns for drivers, says Shufflebotham.

The truck of future 

Carla Detrieux, Director of Business Development at Volta Trucks, says they realised the void in the last-mile, mid-duty heavy trucks industry in innovation, so they decided to step in. Volta Trucks established the first TaaS (Truck-as-a-Service) hub in Paris and today operates in five cities in Europe. Volta Truck is an innovation crafted with the supplies provided by many industry partners, including the tires from Bridgestone. The specifically designed driver cabin is equipped with eight cameras and sensors, giving a 360 vision to the driver, aiming to eliminate any cyclist and pedestrian-involved incidents. Volta Trucks seeks to provide a service solution to customers instead of a CapEx solution and invest in infrastructure to boost their services. The company will launch four models by 2025 and increase production to 27,000 units the same year. 

Why is tire performance critical for trucks? 

The purchase cost of tyres for a transport fleet is around 3% of the total fleet operating cost, while any negligence in tyres may hamper efficiency significantly. Avoiding vehicle downtime is possible through more innovative tyre monitoring and maintenance based on IoT (Internet of Things), telematics and analytics run on the cloud, says Tom Vandersmissen, Director of Advanced Tyre Solutions at Bridgestone Mobility Solutions. Bridgestone provides a fleet manager's perspective on journeys from preparation to the end of the journey, enabling monitoring the performance and overcoming downtime issues. The integrated RFID (Radio-frequency identification) and TPMS (Tyre-pressure monitoring system) provide insight into tyre wear and tyre misalignment with high accuracy, eliminating slow leaks and low-tyre pressure, which are the leading causes of breakdowns.

Bridgestone Total Tyre Care provides tyre management for 300,000 vehicles in Europe, while Weebfleet Solutions have more than 800,000 connected vehicles on the platform. Vandersmissen says the integrated solution will enable fleets to access tyre management solutions on a price-per-month basis, offering innovative fleet management options through practical algorithms.

Advanced technologies are also eliminating risky behaviour related incidents significantly. Simon Dicks, Insurance Channel Manager EMEA at Lytx, says distracted driving is causing 80% of the accidents, while 42% of fleets get involved in 1-5 incidents. The Risk Notification of Risk (FNOR) system of Lytx, which combines machine vision (MV)(+AI technology, provides complete visibility into incidents to fix the risky behaviour. While every 300,000 risky behaviour results in one major incident, the combination of reactive and proactive data avoids any risky behaviour by alerting the driver to fix the behaviour instantly. The alerts are not triggered by G-force trigger by behaviour trigger, capturing the risk through MV and AI. 

The power of digital collaboration

For Franck Leveque, Vice President Strategy&Incubation at Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, the key to unlocking the full potential of mobility solutions is the power of digital partnerships. 

Sten Rauch, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services, says multibranding adds an enormous operational complexity for fleet managers. Rauch believes that once they can share Mercedes-Benz vehicle data very intelligently across their suppliers, it will provide a substantial positive impact. Through Webfleet Solutions, data sharing enables every involved party to provide a better and more integrated service. "Data sharing is required within fleet management", says Rauch. 

Michael Miller, Executive Vice President at Project 44, which tracks over a billion shipments a year, says visibility has become a significant factor for shippers. 98% of shippers see real-time visibility as an essential consideration for evaluating and selecting carriers. With the help of Webfleet Solutions, Project 44 can have a flexible integration with more than 140,000 carriers and 3 million drivers worldwide, helping carry out localised, seamless operations. 

Alexej Schmidt, Global Partnerships Manager at EasyPark Group, also benefits from the digital partnership. Providing services in more than 3,200 cities worldwide, Webfleet Solutions helps increase the efficiency of the EasyPark app, especially when drivers are in a rush. Drivers use the app to park, and when they leave, Webfleet stops the parking immediately, sending a driving event with the license plate. Schmidt says partnership offers innovation and delivers expected value in joint markets. 

The first in-article photo shows Jan-Maarten De Vries, CEO of Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, 
The second in-article photo shows a multi-storey charging station and park of Dundee City Council, powered by solar panels.
The third in-article photo shows the Volta Zero, courtesy of Volta Trucks. 
The fourth in-article photo shows Tom Vandersmissen, Director of Advanced Tyre Solutions at Bridgestone Mobility Solutions.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen