What to expect in 2020

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Once a date confined only to science fiction, the year 2020 is finally upon us. And what a year it is set to be. With Brexit now almost certain and emissions targets set lower than ever before, the year ahead is set to be a busy one for those of us that rely on fleets to do business.

To help you get prepared, here are four things to expect in 2020.

1. Brexit 

December’s election result all but confirmed the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31st January 2020.

Industry bodies have welcomed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill but warned that the threat of no deal is still not completely off the table – something that many believe would be catastrophic for the UK fleet industry.

As it stands, however, the UK is leaving the EU at the end of January with a deal in place. Exactly what that means for the UK’s fleet reliant businesses remains to be seen. All businesses can do is plan, where possible, for every eventuality – that means tightening processes, streamlining operations and having open dialogues with suppliers and clients about potential changes to business as usual.

2. Artifical Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is certainly nothing new, however, we can expect to see it make further strides in the year ahead.

Many businesses are already using fleet management technology to collect and analyse vehicle and driver data. Greater AI integration is set to make this analysis far more intuitive. For example, smart video solutions can be used to analyse and classify events in near-real time. Such technology can help to reduce speeding and harsh driving as well as provide evidence in the event of an accident.

In-vehicle AI and machine learning can also be used to keep customers updated of a driver’s whereabouts and any delays in their schedule. This year, we also expect to see more common use of technologies such as sign and road marking recognition and auto-braking.

3. Goodbye diesel, hello electric? 

Britain’s ban on the sale of diesel vehicles may still be 20 years away but we are already seeing a huge decline in the number of these vehicles on the road.

Sales of diesel vehicles have been in decline for several years now, with sales of electric vehicles moving sharply in the other direction.  

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With greater awareness of the environmental impact of diesel emissions, an impending ban on new diesel vehicle sales and a zero-tax rate for ultra-low emission vehicles, could 2020 be the year the mainstream says goodbye to diesel and hello to electric?

4. Lower emissions 

Whether we see a great switch to electric vehicles in 2020 or not, one thing is for certain, businesses across the country will be doing all they can to reduce emissions.

The UK’s third carbon budget set out an aim to reduce vehicle emissions by 37% on 1990 levels by 2020, something that can only be achieved with the help of the nation’s fleet reliant businesses.

This year will also see London expand its Ultra Low Emission Zone which will eventually extend to the North and South Circular roads by 2021. The initiative, which requires higher emitting vehicles to pay £100 per day to drive in the zone, is expected to reduce exhaust NOx emissions by up to 45%.

The success of the scheme, along with greater pressure on local governments and businesses to reduce carbon footprints could see the scheme rolled out in other cities across the UK. 

How to prepare for the year ahead

As with any new year, we cannot predict exactly what lies in store for the year ahead. However, that does not mean we cannot be prepared.

Fleet management technology can help prepare your fleet-reliant business to adapt, come what may, be it due to Brexit, new regulations or an evolving market.

With a fleet management solution in place, you can see the complete picture of your operation – close gaps in your knowledge, respond faster to change and make smarter business decisions.

You can never know what a new year will bring, but with a fleet management solution in place, you can be ready for it.

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