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Fleets to be early adopters of driverless vehicles, Chevin claims

Date: 10 May 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Risk management issues may lead to fleets becoming early adopters of driverless vehicles, fleet management software company Chevin Fleet Solutions has predicted.

According to the firm's managing director, Ashley Sowerby, the pressure for fleets to acquire them "may be overwhelming" if the vehicles prove to reduce at-fault incidents.

"Driverless cars represent potentially the biggest revolution in personal transportation that we have seen since the invention of the car itself," Sowerby said. "With Volvo starting to undertake trials in London next year and other studies underway in a number of countries, that revolution could be nearer than we think."

"And, thanks to health and safety considerations, it could be that the fleet industry becomes one of the earliest users. The promise of a potentially accident-free fleet will be too great an attraction to resist," he added.

Speaking to BusinessCar earlier this month, Nick Reed, academy director at Transport Research Laboratory outlined how driverless vehicles could help fleets: "What you can imagine with automated vehicles is that they deal with a lot of challenges - you would be able to engage with phone calls, and not have to worry about finding your destination, because it is pre-programmed, and you would be aware of your time of arrival because [the car] would have a very clear understanding of its route and the time taken to get to its destination,"

"All of those things would make driving for business much safer, so I can imagine that when these vehicles become available, purely on a health and safety basis, companies would be very keen to use them, and if I'm thinking about it even more broadly, employees could use the time travelling as you could do on a train - productively," he added.

Reed also claimed that driverless pool vehicles would be cheaper to run on a mile-for-mile basis than one with a driver due to efficiency savings, including being able to share vehicles more effectively.