SURVEY: What does the future hold?
A new survey by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) indicates that technology is set to have a huge impact on the way the fleet industry chooses, operates and manages its vehicles.
Findings from the Fleet Technology survey show that 45% of fleets consider themselves to be early adopters of new automotive technology.
A further 47% of fleets would describe themselves as taking a cautious approach, while just 8% felt they were stragglers in their uptake.
The survey also revealed that driver vehicle choice, connectivity and smartphone integration are set to soar in importance over the next five-years.
Just 20% of fleets believe connectivity and smartphone integration is very important at the moment, but three times as many (61%) say it will be very important in five-year’s time.
Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive at BVRLA, said: “This survey shows that the automotive environment is set to be transformed by technology over the next few years.
“The knowledge, expertise and buying power of the rental and leasing sector means that it will be at the heart of this revolution.
“Our findings suggest that some of the things that used to drive vehicle choice – such as driving performance, comfort and design – are rapidly becoming less important as fleets focus on technology and safety.
Fleets highlighted that driverless cars and alternatively-powered vehicles are the technologies that have the potential to have the greatest positive impact on the industry.
Fatigue warning devices were cited as the most important safety technologies for fleets, while futuristic features such as night-vision cameras were among the least important.
Mr Keaney added: “Whether it’s safety functions such as autonomous emergency braking, or fleet management features such as telematics, the rental and leasing sector is well aware of the potential of developments in automotive technology.
“The BVRLA’s role is to ensure that regulation and the government’s motoring agencies keep pace with these developments, so the fleet industry can continue to innovate.”
The results of the survey were announced at the BVRLA Fleet Technology Congress, held at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon on 1 July.