Technology is set to have a huge impact on the way the fleet industry chooses, operates and manages its vehicles, according to a survey by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Findings from the fleet technology survey show that 45% of fleets consider themselves to be early adopters of new automotive technology. A further 47% would describe themselves as taking a cautious approach, while just 8% felt they were stragglers in their uptake.

When it comes to the factors influencing driver vehicle choice, connectivity and smartphone integration are set to soar in importance over the next five years, according to the survey respondents.

Just 20% of fleets believe connectivity and smartphone integration is very important at the moment, but three times as many (61%) say it will be very important in five years’ time.

However, motor manufacturers have been warned that some 55% of respondents said fleets wouldn’t be wiling to pay for extra safety technology in their vehicles, with a further 27% saying those who would pay would only do so if it was under £500. No-one said customers should have to pay a premium of more than £1,500.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Our findings suggest that some of the things that used to drive vehicle choice – such as driving performance, comfort and design – are rapidly becoming less important as fleets focus on technology and safety.”