According to a new report from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm, the uncertainty of today’s business climate has affected the strategic investment decisions of the country’s commercial fleet owners and operators. From electrified and autonomous vehicles to telematics solutions and data analytics technologies, key fleet decision-makers are tempering their eagerness to adopt.
Those are the latest findings from Fleet Advisory Hub™, a leading insights tool designed to explore the needs, expectations and emotions of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-makers. The platform, developed in 2019 by Escalent, offers an annual snapshot of the state of emerging technologies called the Fleet Technology Index (FTI). For each technology, the FTI provides an analytically based sense of market readiness and expectation for adoption, taking into consideration the perceptions of the current business environment and several predictive factors.
The FTI measured the state of adoption for eight key technologies in 2021: data analytics, telematics, battery electric vehicles (BEVs), autonomous vehicles (AVs), artificial intelligence, drones, mobility service and blockchain. Survey respondents showed less eagerness to adopt each of these key technologies, with data analytics, battery electric vehicles and artificial intelligence showing the biggest drops in their year-over-year FTI score.
“Commercial fleets are among the businesses most impacted by the supply chain disruptions we’ve witnessed over the past 18 months,” said Lucas Lowden, insights consultant and program lead of Fleet Advisory Hub at Escalent. “Naturally, fleet owners and operators are evaluating how best to preserve the strength of their businesses today while exploring ways to incorporate new, game-changing technologies that will serve them in the long run.”
Despite the decrease in FTI scores across the board compared with 2020, each technology posted a higher number than in 2019—notably, prior to the pandemic—demonstrating their relative resilience and likelihood of eventual adoption.
“While fleet operators are pumping the brakes on ramping up adoption in the very near term, expectations remain that implementation of these technologies is a matter of when, not if,” added Lowden.
Fleet Advisory Hub is one of the largest collections of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-maker insights available on the market today. Currently, nearly 10,000 fleets collectively numbering over 800,000 vehicles are represented.
The results reported come from our 2022 FTI report about the current state of market readiness for adoption of emerging technologies by commercial vehicle and fleet businesses and comprise a subset of commercial and fleet vehicle decision-makers drawn from the Fleet Advisory Hub audience. Participants were recruited from an opt-in online panel of business decision-makers and interviewed online. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.