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As 2022 begins, the supply chain, labor and trucker shortages affecting nearly every aspect of the economy will continue to impact fleets. However, as we enter a new year, the drive toward increasing electric vehicle adoption, integrating tech advances like a new generation of artificial-intelligence-powered business tools, and dashcam adoption could be just what fleet operators need to accelerate growth in 2022 and help overcome these ongoing challenges.

EVs will supercharge vehicle fleets

Highlighted by deals like the blockbuster announcement that Hertz will buy 100,000 EVs from Tesla, it’s safe to say 2021 supercharged the EV adoption trend. This will only accelerate in the new year as more companies contemplate integrating sustainable technologies.

In 2021, new regulations in safety and reductions in vehicle emissions coincided with increases in EV vehicle production. As more car manufacturers deliver on the promise of a greener driving experience, expect to see more businesses assess the cost-effectiveness and benefits of a mixed or fully electric fleet in their arsenal. Further fueling EV demand is the massive $1 trillion infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden, which includes $7.5 billion to build a nationwide EV charging station network, reducing range anxiety.

Electric vehicles also give businesses more stability amid volatile fuel costs, as well as lower maintenance costs. An electric motor can have as few as 20 moving parts, compared to a combustion engine that can have more than 2,000. Fewer parts means reduced maintenance costs and less time for fleets to be stuck in the repair shop, ultimately leading to a more efficient and cost-effective fleet.

Although the adoption of a full electric fleet is not commonplace yet, expect to see more businesses in 2022 researching and weighing the pros and cons of EV adoption.

Digitization ramps up for the long haul

As the pandemic continued into its second year, industries refined their business strategies with more proactive digital transformations. This digital-first approach will continue to dominate 2022 as fleet owners grapple with supply chain disruption and labor shortages.

In a recent survey, nearly two in three business decision makers (63%) said they are already using digital tools and technologies to enhance customer experiences and create new opportunities, compared to just over half who were doing so this time last year (53%). By tapping digital solutions that harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses will be able to further streamline operations, deliver growth and profitability, and improve the customer experience through more efficient data-gathering and faster, more informed decision-making.

Indeed, more widespread adoption of automated fleet tracking technology will continue to be a top trend in 2022. Its ability to deliver near real-time location and status of all vehicles, equipment and assets on one dashboard delivers incredible new intelligence to the industry by analyzing trends such as driver behavior, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. In the current climate, the importance of having a tool to enable more efficient, cost-effective business operations is hard to overstate.

Emerging applications for digital tech

The foundation set by the digital transformation started in the past few years will give rise to exciting and innovative new applications in 2022. Fleet operators already using fleet tracking solutions to deploy route optimization software to create cost-effective appointments and scheduling options that adapt to last-minute changes will see new capabilities as these tools become mobile app focused.

The shift to mobile apps as opposed to a centralized solution will allow for easier control of entire fleet management operations virtually anywhere, anytime from a smartphone. From receiving notifications when vehicle diagnostic trouble codes come up, to tracking driver performance and monitoring fuel consumption, mobile apps will put the power of fleet management quite literally in the hands of many instead of the few.

Dashcam technology has existed for years, but 2022 will see adoption skyrocket as the technology becomes more robust and driver safety rises to the forefront. The American Transportation Research Institute’s Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry Report, for example, shows litigation has become one of the industry’s biggest concerns.

As more fleets look for ways to reduce litigation against drivers, expect to see an increase in dashcam technology adoption to build a culture of safety, where drivers can feel protected from false claims that are hard to disprove without evidence. With the ability to download the video clips, fleet managers can not only combat false claims, but also review the footage and individualize their coaching for each driver, ultimately helping to improve driver safety and reduce risks. 

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