Managers of regional and nationwide fleets would welcome collision avoidance and emergency braking functionality for their drivers most out of all the possible advanced driver assistance systems available.

That’s according to a recent report from Arval, which surveyed 3,930 fleet managers as part of its Mobility Observatory 2019 report.

Almost half (49%) of all fleet managers interviewed said that collision avoidance or warning systems would be the most useful driver assistance systems for improving the safety of fleet drivers. This was closely followed by emergency braking systems that would override drivers automatically (46%).

In terms of driver assistance systems that were ‘most wanted’ by fleet managers, 38% said that pedestrian detection systems would also be hugely beneficial in reducing the number of collisions and road traffic accidents.

Additional technologies that were in demand by fleet operators included lane departure warning systems (30%), automatic parking functionality (20%) and adaptive cruise control (15%).

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory across the UK, believes improved education for fleet managers is necessary to avail operators of the most suitable ADAS systems in “helping drivers avoid accidents”.

“What this research represents is therefore really a list of which devices fleet and mobility managers believe will be most useful in real world conditions – and what it indicates they want more than anything is to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians,” said Sadlier.

“Our view is that ADAS technology works best in promoting safety when used alongside telematics devices that allow driver behaviour to be highlighted, helping employees to make improvements both by themselves and through options such as training.”

Within Arval’s Mobility Observatory 2019 study, it also assessed the measures fleet managers are undertaking internally to mitigate risks for fleet drivers on the road. Almost two-thirds (61%) carry out their own risk assessments, while more than a third (35%) operate safety communication programmes. That’s followed by on-road training and classroom training (33%).

However, less than a third (32%) of fleets with fewer than ten employees conducted training in road risks compared with 84% of fleets with more than 1,000 employees. This suggests that smaller firms need to dedicate more resources to keeping their drivers – and other road users – safer at the wheel.

“This is almost certainly an issue of resources. A large organisation will tend to have company-wide risk assessment arrangements in place that cover all their activities in depth and the fleet will benefit from this professionalism,” added Sadlier.