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Alphabet launches telematics-based SMR service

Date: 13 June 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Top-three BusinessCar BC50 leasing company Alphabet has launched a service and maintenance programme for company cars which uses telematics data from the vehicle.

The new service has been designed to reduce vehicle downtime while also improving safety and duty of care by sending alerts to Alphabet's maintenance team.  At present, the programme is only possible with BMW and Mini models, although Alphabet said it is in discussion with other manufacturers.

A message is sent to Alphabet at the same time as a warning light appears for the driver, which allows the leasing firm to call or message motorists to arrange the required action.

Alphabet said the information transmitted by the vehicle will help its maintenance team determine the type of servicing work required and how long the action will take, while the vehicle also feeds the status of other functions of the car, such as brakes and filters back to Alphabet.

The driver is also provided with a more accurate estimate for how long the service will take compared to a normal SMR package, reducing vehicle downtime and helping the fleet driver maximise their productive working day with a 'While You Wait' service' where possible, BMW-owned Alphabet added.

"To be the first mobility and leasing provider with access to teleservice data direct from the vehicle manufacturer, without the intervention of retro-fitted telematics, is not only an exciting moment for us but also for the fleet market as a whole," said Kit Wisdom, head of technical services at Alphabet. "It enables us to offer drivers in a connected car - in this case, a BMW or Mini - an intelligent, proactive and customer-focused approach to service and maintenance."

"So far, feedback from drivers has been incredibly positive, highlighting just how quick and convenient the service is for them. They're really impressed that their car tells us what it needs as soon as the warning light comes on and that we reach out to them personally to remedy it," he added.