The ability for connected vehicle technology to help fleets manage tire costs will be critical as price rises intensify.
A combination of poor rubber crop, increasing tire sizes to meet SUV demand, the requirements for specialist EV tires with stiffer sidewalls, and a greater focus by fast fitment companies on retail sales to the detriment of traditional fleet discounts, have been behind the substantial uptick in rubber replacement costs.
TyreServe, a one-stop tyre replacement service to the contract hire and leasing industry from epyx, reports that it has seen tire costs rise by 33% during the last two years.
To prevent this expenditure from spiraling further, fleets need to harness realtime tire performance and future degradation wear information, according to Matt Waller, director of connected car at epyx’s parent company, Fleetcor.
“Fleets need to find ways of accessing greater control. There are a number of tools on the horizon that will help fleets improve their tire management and forecast future spend more accurately,” he says.
“As connected vehicle solutions become more widely used, they will enable widespread capture by fleets of high quality information covering metrics such as mileage, tire pressure, atmospheric indicators and vehicle motion. This will mean that complex algorithms can be developed that can accurately measure key elements of tire management including current tread depth, as well as predicting when specific tires will need replacing.
Epyx says it is currently trialing a connected vehicle solution with a number of fleets. The company believes that connected vehicle data can bring value across the entire fleet management chain - from SMR to remarketing, maintenance, risk management and tire management.
“Bringing our first connected vehicle product to market promises to be a very exciting moment,” added Waller.