The connected car and the generation of so-called ‘big data’ is set to change the long-established fleet management model, which is why ACFO is turning the spotlight on the issue at its spring seminar.
‘Big Data - Big Seminar’ takes place on 18th May at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire, with the event sponsored by Audi and Lex Autolease, the UK’s largest vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
John Pryor, chairman of ACFO, the UK’s premier fleet decision-makers’ organisation, said: “We are currently at the tip of an iceberg. The arrival of ‘big data’ will have a major impact on fleet operations and company car drivers.
“Today’s connectivity is the start of the journey towards the autonomous car and while the secure exchange of data builds the foundations for new business activities and applications, there are significant risks and challenges regarding safety, security and privacy, that need to be addressed.”
The seminar will hear from Nick Mitchell, service and technical manager, Audi UK, on a manufacturer’s view of ‘big data’ and how it plans to use information from in-vehicle devices. Additionally, Lex Autolease will deliver a leasing company’s perspective.
Supporters of ‘big data’ point to benefits that include reduced fleet vehicle downtime, safety and duty of care improvements and the early detection of faults and wear and tear before components ‘break’ thus reducing fleet service, maintenance and repair costs so aiding improved budgeting
However, concerns have been expressed by fleet decision-makers surrounding potential ‘cyber attacks’ and data protection, notably with the 25th May, 2018 introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, which builds on existing data protection legislation with a particular focus on digitalisation and technology. It also introduces new “principles” of transparency and accountability with the ability to “prove consent” a significant pillar of the new regulations.
Tackling legal issues at the ACFO seminar will be Alex Ktorides, partner at legal and professional services firm Gordon Dadds.
ACFO is also anticipating that a representative of a major fleet insurance company will address the seminar, while an ACFO member will examine the opportunities that ‘big data’ can bring to fleet operations, but also highlight their fears.
The seminar will conclude with a question and answer panel session that is expected to include a representative of a vehicle rental company.
Mr Pryor said: “The relationship between motor manufacturers, the vehicle leasing and fleet management industry, fleet decision-makers and company car drivers is set to change with the advent of ‘big data’ and connected vehicles.
“Fleet managers want clarity on what the issues are; they want to understand how suppliers such as vehicle manufacturers and contract hire and leasing companies will access and use ‘big data’; and, critically, they want to know what the law is in respect of managing and using ‘big data’ sourced directly from ‘intelligent’ vehicles.
“Every fleet is unique and how user-chooser and job-need fleets use and interpret ‘big data’ will potentially be different. But the seminar will see experts deliver independent views on the impact of ‘big data’ on fleet operations. It is then up to managers to analyse how ‘big data’ will then impact on their own vehicle operations and employees.”