Operations

Calif. Fleet Association Discusses Autonomous Vehicles

June 01, 2015, by Thi Dao

Paul Condran, MEMA president, led the May 21 association meeting. Photo by Kelly Bracken
Paul Condran, MEMA president, led the May 21 association meeting. Photo by Kelly Bracken

The Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA), a Southern California fleet managers’ group, focused on autonomous vehicles and how they will change the fleet industry during a May 21 meeting.

Bobit Business Media hosted the meeting at its Torrance, Calif., headquarters, and Mike Antich, Government Fleet’s editorial director and associate publisher, gave a presentation on autonomous vehicles.

The U.S. Army believes autonomous vehicle technology will be field-ready by 2025, Antich said. With Google and automakers already developing autonomous vehicls, there will be a major shift in transportation and that in turn will impact fleets, both in positive and negative ways.

The advantages of autonomous vehicles for fleets include improved safety on the roads, greater utilization, and maximized fuel efficiency. However, there are many challenges that need to be worked out first, including government regulations, liability issues, loss of driving-related jobs, Antich added.

Following lunch, Alan Mond, CEO of Munirent, spoke about the company’s equipment sharing tool and how the Oregon Department of Transportation increased utilization and reduced rental costs by using the tool.

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