Ford has announced that it will be launching two new connected vehicle solutions for European fleet customers in early 2019.
Ford is developing these solutions which are meant to help fleet customers to manage their vehicles more effectively through its Ford Commercial Solutions (FCS) unit and they will be able to run their business more efficiently.
Using the Ford Telematics application, fleet operators will be able to assess the data from connected Ford vehicles in their fleet. There is an intuitive web-based portal that will use the data collected from the vehicles to provide the operators with useful insights that can help them improve fleet efficiency and driver safety. They will be able to assess the condition of the vehicles in the fleet in near real-time and get rapid insights into fleet performance.
Larger fleets might wish to use their own in-house or third-party system providers to come up with bespoke vehicle solutions that can cater better to their needs. This is what prompted Ford to develop Ford Data Services. Through Ford Data Services, large company fleets, telematics service providers and fleet management companies can gain direct access to valuable OEM-grade vehicle data.
Ford vehicles have a built-in modem and Ford Data Services transfers the vehicle data directly from the vehicle to the cloud using the modem eliminating the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime. From the cloud, the vehicle data can be relayed to the fleet’s internal IT system or third-party provider.
Commenting on the two new vehicle solutions, Dave Phatak, director of Ford Commercial Solutions, Europe said that fleets nowadays are under tremendous pressure to deliver safe, efficient and legal operations. He said that this is why Ford is working on developing a range of connectivity-based solutions for its fleet customers so that they can focus on running their business.
Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services are the first new products from the FCS business in Europe, a unit within Ford Smart Mobility. They further refine Ford’s new connected vehicle ecosystem – Ford vehicle connectivity technology, Ford Transportation Mobility Cloud and Ford mobility solutions thus effectively leveraging Ford’s emphasis on continuous vehicle improvement, data know-how and expertise, and access to the latest data signals.
The new vehicle fleet solutions were developed on the basis of Insights from fleet owners, managers and employees across industries. Ford’s goal in developing such solutions was to help fleet owners to spend less time managing their vehicles and more time managing their business.
And, since Ford is designing all the aspects of the vehicles including their technology, data systems and electrical architecture, it has the capability to provide the newest updates and vehicle signals as soon as they become available, delivering insights as quickly as customers need them.
Ford has already announced that, by 2020, it will provide connectivity across its entire vehicle range in Europe. Ford will roll out Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services in the U.K. and German markets first before launching them in other markets across the world. Both solutions are compatible with the latest range of Ford passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and older Ford models without a modem through a new Ford-engineered plug-in device (PID).
Ford Commercial Solutions has already established agreements with a number of telematics service providers in North America, including Verizon Connect, and is now in advanced stages of discussion to establish similar agreements in Europe.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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