fleetdigest February 2018
The February 2018 issue of fleetdigest is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of fleetdigest, Jack Kazmierski.
The Cost of Safety
What will advanced driver assistance technologies add to your bottom line?
When we think about the wonders of modern technology two points, usually come to mind—cost and benefits.
The benefits of some of the advanced driver assistance technologies already available on the market, as well as those soon to be on the market, are clear. They keep drivers and pedestrians as safe as possible.
On the cost side, we usually think of how much a certain safety system will add to the purchase price of a vehicle. But there’s another side to the cost equation that fleet managers need to keep in mind—repairs, and maintenance.
The value of a life
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to think about the price of safety. If a technology can help prevent a collision, an injury or even a death, it would make sense to have it. But that’s a very human way of thinking, and corporations don’t always see things that way. So if you manage a fleet for a company that sees employees as numbers rather than as individuals, spending the extra to keep them as safe as possible may not always be encouraged by the company.
I recently had the opportunity to tour a training centre for automotive technicians. While I was there, they had a high-end German sedan on the hoist, with lots of fancy pieces of equipment around it. My guide said that it was used to aim all the fancy cameras, sensors and radar the vehicle came equipped with. Apparently, it’s a must to realign all this specialized equipment after a collision or when certain parts are replaced.
My guide also explained that this particular vehicle was getting an alignment, and that besides straightening the actual wheels, the technician would also have to make sure that all the equipment the vehicle uses to “see” traffic and other obstacles was properly aligned, or the vehicle simple wouldn’t see the dangers it was designed to detect and avoid.
The bottom line, he explained, is that the technician would have to take two or three times longer than usual to do an alignment on this vehicle, which would translate into a bill that would be two or three times higher than the owner might be expecting.
If you think this only applies to high-end German sedans, as mentioned above, rest assured we’re seeing more and more of these technologies on more affordable vehicles, which means you’re going to see it on your selectors soon, if not already.
Will you shy away from these technologies because of the dollar figures associated with buying, maintaining and fixing them? Or will you calculate the real cost of not investing in technologies that could prevent disasters in the future? That’s a question we all have to answer.