‘Networkfleet’ on 18,000 Vehicles, and ‘Magic’ Buses in New York City
Verizon, which already operates hundreds of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, may modify its new Networkfleet fleet management solution to better address their special needs. Separately, Verizon has deployed a fleet of 25 “Magic” shuttle buses for employees in New York City. They’ll help reduce congestion and parking strife – and two of them are compressed natural gas-fueled with plug-in electrical systems.
Networkfleet is a fleet management product acquired last year by Verizon as part of Hughes Telematics. It’s a logistics tool with monitoring and management capabilities that can help fleet managers reduce mileage and otherwise improve efficiency. Verizon is essentially merging Networkfleet “with the speed and reliability of the Verizon wireless network,” and is launching the enhanced product in an initial 18,000 company vehicles.
“We see the fleet management space as a tremendous opportunity,”, senior VP and chief platform officer for Verizon Enterprise Solutions David Small said in a release.
‘Best Buying Decisions’
Networkfleet consists of a number of nodes or modules comprising the product’s firmware, says sales engineering manager Chris Ransom. Alternative fuels are on the radar for future enhancements, he says. One of the key attributes of Networkfleet is that it “helps buyers make their best buying decisions” – enhancements could, for example, include the ability to compare the performance of different fuels in different areas, climates, terrains, and vehicle duty cycles.
Verizon itself operates more than 2,200 alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, including, as of the end of 2012, 435 biofuel vehicles, 514 compressed natural gas vehicles, ten battery electrics, and 1,267 hybrids.
Magic stands for Mobile Area Garage Installation Center – described by one Verizon man as “a carpool system for techs.” The use “removes approximately 250 Verizon trucks from the city’s roads and frees up the same number of parking spots,” he says. The Magic buses, built on Ford F-550 chassis, can each hold as many as 12 technicians.
They don’t park, and they eliminate the telcom provider’s traditional work trucks. Nearly 700,000 miles of driving per year will be eliminated.
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Source: Verizon announcements with Fleets & Fuels follow-up