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Fleet FAQ? Fuel Management

Q. How will connected car suppliers guarantee an autonomous vehicle cannot be hacked?

A. Right now, they can’t. That’s why you don’t see this application in the market – and probably won’t for a while. Within a decade you might see some sort of real-world application, but it’s still early. The future of the connected car, and how it shakes out in the world of fleet, rests on two big dependencies. One is the ability of connected car players to make meaningful business partnerships. That’s easier said than done. Especially where you have an emerging technology that everyone wants to own, division of intellectual property is but one barrier to bringing multiple vendors together to find a workable solution. Throw government regulations into the mix and it’s anyone’s guess as to when we will see this technology in real time. The other dependency is simply the issue of data security. Companies without a pedigree guaranteeing the sanctity of customer data may find trust is a serious barrier to entering the autonomous vehicle market. At WEX, partnerships and data security have been intrinsic to our tech development since 1983. We couldn’t develop, own and operate a closed-loop network – accepted at more than 95% of all U.S. fuel and maintenance locations -- if we didn’t have the cooperation of multiple players along the way: individual service stations, Big Oil, plastic vendors, Point-of-Sale developers and many more. And we wouldn’t have been able to win the trust of hundreds of thousands of customers through the years unless we had a solid reputation for responsible data capture, thorough analysis and reporting, and helpful customer service in a pinch. So, while it’s early, WEX fully expects to be a player in the connected car space. We think about it this way: WEX Fleet Card transactions are already secure on plastic. Let’s just remove the plastic and turn the car into the card. We’re working on it.

Expert Bio

Answered by : Bernie Kanavagh from WEX

Senior Vice President and General Manager

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

A 27-year fleet professional, Bernie Kavanagh currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet at WEX Inc. He joined the company in 1996 and his career has been a steady progression of increased sales and marketing responsibility. Kavanagh serves on industry related boards and is a frequent speaker at payment industry conferences focusing on fuel trends and technology in the payment space. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey and is an active member of NAFA, AFLA, NCSFA and AALA. Prior to joining WEX, Kavanagh held a number of roles with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Fleet Management.

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