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Road safety: much more than sound business sense

For fleet operators, investing in new technology makes sound business sense but it is also rapidly becoming a legal necessity.

Existential advances in artificial intelligence with all the associated gains in productivity have made investing in new technology a matter of priority for an increasing number of businesses. However, where technological advances can increase safety or improve our environment, law makers are becoming increasingly involved.

Volvo recently became the first large motor manufacturer to announce that from model year 2021 all of their vehicles would have a maximum speed limit of 112 mph. A combination of vehicles being fitted with automatic speed restrictions and well established GPS tracking technology will undoubtedly lead to vehicle manufacturers being able to impose, not just maximum speed limits, but variable, location sensitive speed limits on their vehicle. This capability has attracted the interest of The European Transport and Safety Council, a non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe, and they have recently recommended that laws be changed.

Subject to ratification by the European Parliament, likely to be in September, the speed limiter will be one of a range of safety features to be made mandatory from 2022, along with automated emergency braking, electronic data recorders and improved visibility built into lorries for drivers to see vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle. The speed limiter device, called intelligent speed assistance (ISA), uses GPS data and sign recognition cameras to detect speed limits where a vehicle is travelling. It would then sound a warning and automatically slow the vehicle down if it is exceeding the speed limit.

It is not just in the area of safety that public policy is driving the introduction of new technology. A similar set of circumstances applies to environmental considerations. Vehicle on board diagnostics (OBD) are increasingly able to detect and communicate instances when legally enforceable emission standards are breached. Fitting the technology responsible will also become a legal obligation. New European regulations relating to higher emission standards in respect of trucks are due to come into effect from 1 September 2019. The regulation concerned is known as Euro-6 Step D regulation and will be enforced using vehicle OBD systems.

New technology is rapidly reducing the total cost of ownership as vehicles become more efficient against a wide range of parameters. However, the introduction of new legislation is increasingly making the replacement of older vehicles something of a necessity as well as just good commercial sense. Leasing or contract hire enables businesses to acquire the new vehicles they need without having to make a large capital outlay and in so doing helps to provide an immediate return on investment as well as helping with cash flow management.

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Andy MilsomAndy Milsom, Head of Partner Training & Development at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions

Andy is an experienced sales and finance professional with over 25 years’ experience in sales aid leasing. Andy is widely recognised as an expert in business finance and has in recent years focused his attention on developing partner sales teams develop an understanding of how businesses secure project financing. His training programme – Finance Unlocked – is a highly rated customisable course and is offered at no cost to partners.

If you’re interested in helping your sales team overcome finance-related hurdles during the selling cycle, please get in touch with Andy on 07966 114 243 or email here.

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