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Australians should have a choice of mobility options, whatever their income level, so says VACC Executive Director, David Purchase.
As all fleet operators know, the increasing complexity associated with running company vehicles means that fleet management needs to be more sophisticated than ever before. In this respect, even the most successful vehicle leasing organisations accept that they need to move quickly to adapt to changing financial, fiscal and legal requirements in order to deliver the best service to their customers.
The business of forecasting future residual values, for so long a one horse race, looks set for a major shake-up thanks to vehicle information and data firm Glass's who have launched a new forecasting tool for future residual values (RVs) which it claims will 'transform business in the fleet, finance and OEM sectors'.
The mobility landscape is changing, driven by a number of factors. Growing populations are increasing demands on an already constrained transport infrastructure that also has to cope with the changing needs of an ageing demographic. Old models of vehicle ownership and traditional travel habits cannot keep up with emerging requirements for seamless, integrated travel options. Individuals, funders, and organizations need to embrace the new concept of "total" or "intelligent" mobility, which involves making greater use of technology, and in particular data about travel patterns, to create a new approach offering more choice and greater flexibility about how people get around.
For a legacy infrastructure to adapt in order to provide an effective, intelligent mobility system, the public and private sectors are going to have to accept a major shift in the way they operate. The increase in the number of internet-connected things means businesses will have the ability to capture an extraordinary amount of data, so-called "big data", giving the public sector and businesses in the private sector the ability to share data and collaborate with each other like never before. However, set against today's competitive corporate and legal landscape this will require a significant change in attitudes towards data security and sensitivity.
The largest area of activity, at present, is in the technology sector with a number of initiatives currently taking place by a range of suppliers, including so-called driverless cars, automated parking of vehicles, and combined "mobility card" travel ticketing.
While the intelligent mobility market is still at an embryonic stage and with the market very fragmented, little has been heard from the asset finance sector about its involvement in this new concept. Continued investment in this area is likely to come in the form of corporate finance such as equity financing in technology and "disruptor" businesses.
In terms of leasing, most of the high-profile activity is coming from the car-leasing sector, where asset finance businesses with car-leasing subsidiaries are well positioned to take advantage, along with some of the captive-owned leasing businesses. Again, this specific sector is fragmented and not well served. In addition, growing interest from other key players in the automotive sector, including manufacturers and car hire firms, is leading to new types of business relationships.
Intelligent mobility can be broken down into three key areas: technology, infrastructure, and vehicles. Asset finance companies, captive car-leasing businesses, automotive manufacturers, and the technology giants all have a part to play in uniting all three elements to create a compelling proposition for the individual and business user. But working out how to make the most of the opportunities and tackle the competitive threats is proving a major challenge, with no clear overall winners so far in the race to make intelligent mobility a mainstream offering.