Fleet management is expected to undergo explosive growth in the next four to five years, and experts say this will be attributed to several factors, including demand from customers in urban areas for greater flexibility and the rise of the subscription model in vehicle usage.
At WEX, we make it our business to stay on the cutting edge of fleet management technology; and we’ve identified five emerging trends on the horizon:
- Driver Recruitment: Due to the explosion of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, there are thousands more drivers on the road than before. But this proliferation of opportunities for the entrepreneurial driver has put a burden on traditional fleets to recruit, train and retain their own drivers. Driver shortage is repeatedly cited as the trucking industry’s biggest concern among our customers in the freight industry. WEX is working to create a seamless experience that will help customers retain drivers by providing them with tools to make their job easier and less stressful.
- Connected Cars: Today, the way cars are inextricably linked to technology means that they are no longer just a means of transportation, but digital and service platforms. There are many advancements in the way vehicles make use of technological innovations—from sensors that offer driver assistance to the ultimate in connectivity, the autonomous car. The research firm Accenture predicts that in 2025, all new cars sold will be connected. WEX has prepared by looking at options such as allowing drivers to securely pay for and pump fuel and earn fuel rewards and discounts without even leaving their vehicles.
- Telematics and Data: Reams of data are available to fleet businesses to help keep their churn rates low, lower operational and maintenance costs, and more. This data collecting and collating will continue to be a crucial element in the fleet industry. With our ClearView analytics and reporting software, WEX breaks through that critical mass of information to provide digestible, actionable insights. ClearView helps fleet managers successfully maintain budgets, improve fleet performance, find cost savings and spot red flags before they become emergencies.
- Fuel and Fraud: The threat of card theft and fraud is always a concern among fleet-dependent businesses. For fleet managers, theft and fraud can manifest in several ways—from card skimming at the pumps to internal theft, with drivers using company vehicles for personal use and ramping up fuel usage, or filing false expense reports. WEX’s fuel card solutions provide purchasing controls that add layers of security to deter fuel theft. They allow managers to set purchase limits that make sense for their businesses, providing options to control for dollar amounts, fueling location, product type and more.
- Electric Vehicles and Alternative Fuels: As green technology advances, electric cars are gaining in popularity and becoming available around the globe. When it comes to alternative fuels, liquefied natural gas is talked about as a green alternative to fossil fuels, and some of the fleets we work with have begun asking us to implement EV charging with the same functionality our fleet cards offer for liquid fueling. With a continuing push to find more sustainable energy and fuel sources, expect more new developments on this front.
Learn more about WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions here.