Commercial mobility the biggest challenge for city fleets

The urban space is complex and dynamic, creating challenges as well as opportunities for city based fleets. One key focus surrounds new technology and subsequent regulation. Ginny Weeks discusses this important challenge with Ann-Helen Tolleman, editor-in-chief, online channels with Scania CV AB and Silpa Paul, industry analyst-commercial vehicles, automotive and transportation at Frost & Sullivan.

Q: How is new fleet tech becoming critical to profit and compliancy involving municipal and state emission limits?

Tolleman: “There are great business opportunities for companies able to provide sustainable city solutions that create a win-win for suppliers, operators, society and the environment.”

Paul: “Conventional telematics-enabled services such as track-n-trace, driver behaviour monitoring (to improve safety as well as fuel economy) and prognostics are all beneficial for city trucks. One of the key challenges with city trucking is the need to comply with increasingly stringent emission levels as well as truck size restrictions. As municipal and state emission regulations progress towards zero emissions, telematics vendors already offer solutions that help fleets track and reduce their carbon footprint. There are specific telematics enabled solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles. Video safety and ADAS systems also provide rich data maps which, apart from improving safety, also enable dynamic route mapping to deal with traffic congestion in real time. This enables e-retailers and a whole host of on-demand service providers to maintain fast and timely delivery of goods/services.”

Q: How is the municipal uptake of new tech revolutionising city management and the operation of compliant fleets within them?

Tolleman: “It opens up suppliers of connectivity-based solutions, optimises transport flows and better utilises the road infrastructure.”

Paul: “Municipalities across North America and Europe have been testing and implementing smart systems for the last 10 years towards the vision of smart cities. Systems such as smart parking inherently demand vehicle-to-everything communication and thus telematics devices become necessary for city trucks to be able to take advantage of a city's smart infrastructure. Additionally, telematics solutions are also enabling new-age urban demands such as that of automated freight brokerage, same-day-delivery and field service management or utility-services-on-demand.”

Q: How will fleets be held to the same metric standards as corporate travel departments as fleet managers move away from total cost of ownership (TCO) to total cost of mobility (TCM)?

Tolleman:“Customer orientation means to fulfil customers’ needs, so the fleets will develop their business models to fit into TCM.”

Paul: “TCM is still a concept more widely discussed for passenger mobility than for goods. TCM incorporates elements such as CO2 emissions, energy labels, damages, traffic fines etc, thereby making it a more holistic management metric for fleets than TCO. Perhaps if zero emission zones in cities are ushered in while full-electric-powertrain technology is too expensive for fleets to consider 100% adoption, municipalities may levy a CO2fine for diesel/hybrid city trucks which will then need to be accounted for by fleets. This will then compel them to shift to TCM.”


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *