Safety, connected cars and the evolving role of the fleet manager in Latin America - Highlights from the Global Fleet Conference
The 7th edition of the Global Fleet Conference, which took place in Miami this year, gathered around 300 managers of the world’s largest multinational commercial fleets to discuss trends around the globe, integrating big data & telematics into fleet management, the challenges of safety management and the state of the current fleet market in Latin America.
The 7th edition of the Global Fleet Conference, which took place in Miami this year, gathered around 300 managers of the world’s largest multinational commercial fleets to discuss trends around the globe, integrating big data & telematics into fleet management, the challenges of safety management and the state of the current fleet market in Latin America. ALD Automotive was present again with global alliance partner Wheels to discuss these and other mobility issues with attending fleet managers and below are a few key highlights:
In Latam, mobility managers are the new fleet manager.
In a three-part session that provided a comprehensive overview of Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American markets, ALD Automotive’s Kent Bjertrup, Regional Director for Latin America, and Sergio Lecue, Latin America Regional Key Account Director at ALD Automotive, discussed safety, energy efficiency and mobility.
The panel assessed how fleet managers needed to grow their skill sets to include all forms of mobility management such as ride hailing and e-mobility for last-mile solutions. Additionally, they explored how electric vehicle adoption is low in Latin America overall, but slightly higher in Mexico where prices are a bit better.
Sergio Lecue had this to say, “Mobility solutions are arriving in the region. Now it´s part of the fleet managers’ responsibilities to take into consideration which are the best mobility options for their drivers. In Mexico, hybrid cars are a reality in the market and the structure to support the future EV is being created. We can consider that the country is ahead on this topic compared with the other countries in LatAm. One reason is that the government is incentivizing [these purchases] to mitigate traffic and pollution. New mobility solutions such as car-sharing and e-bikes are more and more requested by the big corporate companies across the region.”
Fleet Safety – no one-size-fits-all
The Managing Fleet Safety track explored how important it is to recognize the reality of each country to have an effective safety policy. It should be applicable, achievable, agreed upon, and audited or it won’t be efficient. Straying too far outside the country’s reality could cause the driver to feel disconnected from their daily life and cause adoption to fail. The poor road infrastructure in Latin America or Africa, the privacy laws in Europe, or the increasing cost of litigation in the U.S. should be considered when setting policy.
Sergio Lecue says, “Drivers’ Safety has become a hot topic in the region. In the last few years, we have seen this important issue become part of the daily conversations in most companies, and those discussions should be managed regionally, where companies are able to implement best practices from one country to another. At this point it is crucial to have partners like ALD Automotive, who, thanks to our transversal and regional approach, can advise clients about the best way to apply policies throughout the region.”
An additional challenge is instituting key performance indicators you can follow. Classifications of accidents and other metrics are not consistent across the globe. Telematics can support a global safety initiative but it’s important to set the objective beforehand and keep it simple or you may be overwhelmed by divergent data formats.
Use of telematics – with vehicle connectivity, it’s neither top down nor bottom up.
The Fleet Productivity and Technology track, discussed how when adopting a connected vehicle strategy some opt for a top-down approach that involves searching for data to solve a known problem. Others conversely institute a bottom-up method where there’s lots of data and yet they’re unsure what problem to solve. The solution lies in the middle. It’s important to consider both the company’s objections and all the areas of data that are available and aren’t.
With all the data that we can collect coming from connected vehicles, this can allow us to define the fleet strategy of the future, especially when it comes to the alternative vehicles and how to include them into the fleet. If we have the capability to analyze all this information, then we can decide for a specific usage of one driver what is the best solution to implement. In addition, if hybrids are part of your fleet, you’re only reaping the savings if drivers plug in to charge. Requiring drivers to use electricity as an energy source and monitoring compliance via connected vehicle data ensures your sustainability initiatives are met.
We look forward to seeing progress made on these and new mobility challenges at next year’s Global Fleet Conference in Rome!