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Techies 2015: Editor's Choice - Arval

Date: 25 August 2015   |   Author:

This award is for the breadth of entries Arval submitted, demonstrating technological prowess and innovation across telematics, fleet management and apps.

The company, about to burst into the UK's top three list of leasing firms with the acquisition of GE Capital's fleet business by the end of this year, has already achieved Highly Commended status in two different BusinessCar Techie categories for its Mobile+ app and for its Reporting Suite fleet management tool.

But the firm is also branching out in other directions, one of which is the Drive Challenge app, created to channel the inner gamer and competitor in many of us, and use it to provoke safe and efficient driving.

Designed to be "fun, intuitive and easy to use", rather than something that bosses are monitoring, the app measures speed, acceleration and braking and highlights areas of improvement, while good results unlock rewards and can be posted to Facebook leaderboards. Arval has also been offering prizes, including a car for the summer, for users and high scorers.

The leasing company has also launched Arval Active Link, an integrated telematics offering that costs just £2.25 per car per month and collects information on fuel efficiency, driver behaviour, mileage monitoring, proactive servicing, and vehicle alerts such as breakdown, accident and theft, alerting emergency services where necessary.

Active Link integrates with Mobile+, giving drivers the ability to monitor the data from their own journeys, as well as amending records for business and private mileage. It also links with other Arval processes around quotation, billing, service and reporting.

Through Active Link, Arval can also look at the data to recommend tailored driving training on eco or safety grounds.

Arval's other developments, both of which picked up Highly Commended citations in their categories, are the Mobile+ app, which gives access to every service a driver might need on the road, from nearest petrol station to fleet handbook and what to do in an accident, and the new Reporting Suite.

This is a range of online tools covering the likes of Fleet View at-a-glance status updates on a vehicle fleet, analytics analysis of three-year trends in the fleet, and the E-customer online portal giving customers a straightforward way to access invoicing and reporting.

So this Editor's Choice award is for the sheer breadth of Arval's technological advancement over the past 12 months, encompassing a whole series of clever innovations that will make life easier for people managing business vehicles.

Highly commended - JC&C Bowers Shield

We're taking a bit of a flier on this one because it's not going to hit the market until at least the end of this year, but the Shield product being launched by JC&C Bowers is described by the company as "the ultimate in vehicle security".

The firm is in discussions with one manufacturer, as well as fleets and insurance companies, about the pioneering system, which turns the windscreen opaque, disabling the vehicle in the event of a theft or if the key has been stolen to take the vehicle.

There are several other elements too, including emergency alert systems. BusinessCar has been given more detail about how the system works, and this will be in the public domain later this year, but it's safe to say this is a level of innovation the industry hasn't yet seen, and a very clever - yet in some ways, very simple - solution to the problem of vehicle theft and unauthorised use.