The demand for a more connected, more efficient fleet and vehicle infrastructure has only grown among cities, counties and state agencies in recent years, and should continue as these agencies go further down the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As found in GovWin’s recent research report, Fleet Industry Analysis: Selling Vehicles, Parts and Services to State and Local Governments, there are a number of categories within the state and local transportation market that are expected to offer more opportunities for government contractors.
Below is a brief summary of four “smart” trends that we have seen recently that are likely to impact the fleet and transportation contracting markets in the near future.
1. Connected Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles
While 2019 saw an increase in solicitations of connected vehicle (CV) technologies, 2020 saw a decrease of around 40%. States are continuing to test the technology with pilot programs and related CV equipment. Similarly related is autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. AV technology saw an over 50% decrease in bids for 2020 compared to 2019. Autonomous shuttles for public transportation appear to be a possibility in the short-term, with bigger aspirations for the long-term as fully autonomous fleets are not the top priority right now, but more of a future outlook. Testing grounds, where vehicles can safely be tested for both AV and CV technology, and federal government grants continue to be a consistent focal point for these technologies.
2. Internet of Things and Telematics
The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to transform the transportation industry in areas such as telematics. SLED governments can efficiently track vehicle trips and remotely monitor engine and vehicle performance. They may also monitor driver behavior and driver performance. As IoT solutions have developed over the years, it is leading to even more enhancement in telematics technology. The continued advancement in telematics will allow fleets to be efficiently maintained and monitored.
3. Remote and 5G Fleet Management
Fleet management software proved even more valuable as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With fleet managers working from home, and capacity limits set on passengers, the technology became essential to track and monitor fleet activities. The remote workforce among SLED governments is likely to remain larger than where it was prior to the pandemic. This will only emphasize the need for SLED governments to procure and utilize reliable fleet management software and preferably one with mobile capabilities.
Going hand in hand with remote fleet management is the 5G expansion we are seeing across networks. As 5G becomes more common, fleet management software will be able to leverage the speed over the network and provide the most accurate and real-time information, while reducing any lag, to those using the software. Fleets will be looking to obtain fleet management software that will be 5G ready so that they can stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the new network without delay. This will further benefit a remote working environment for fleets going forward.
4. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
For electric vehicle fleets to take over fossil fuel fleets, EV infrastructure will need to be as readily available and as accessible as gas stations are today. We’ve already seen rapid growth in bids for charging stations each year starting from a low point around five years ago. The Federal government has initiatives in place to expand the EV infrastructure. Some SLED governments are purchasing their own infrastructure for their current fleet of EVs or in anticipation of expanding to a larger all-electric fleet. This area of the fleet market will continue to grow and expand in conjunction with the expansion of EV fleet vehicle purchases.
To read more on the state and local fleet market, download a free copy of GovWin’s Fleet Industry Analysis report.