Ford will launch a telematics service early next year, while also opening up its vehicle data to third-party providers.
The manufacturer is developing a range of connected vehicle solutions to enable fleet customers to run their business more efficiently through its Ford Commercial Solutions (FCS) unit.
Ford Telematics will provide fleet operators with the ability to view data from connected Ford vehicles in their fleet through the Ford Telematics application.
Using information collected from the vehicle, an intuitive web-based portal will provide useful insights to help improve fleet efficiency and driver safety, enabling fleet owners, managers and employees to view fleets in near real-time and gain rapid insights into fleet performance.
Ford recognises that some larger fleets may wish to work with their own in-house or third-party system providers to develop bespoke vehicle solutions to meet their needs. That is why Ford has also designed Ford Data Services, which will give large company fleets, telematics service providers and fleet management companies direct access to valuable OEM-grade vehicle data.
Taking advantage of Ford vehicles’ build-in modem, Ford Data Services transfers vehicle data directly from the vehicle to the cloud without the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime. From there, the vehicle data is relayed to the fleet’s internal IT system or third-party provider.
“Today’s fleets are under huge pressure to deliver safe, efficient and legal operations,” said Dave Phatak, director of Ford Commercial Solutions, Europe. “That is why we are developing a range of connectivity-based solutions for our fleet customers to allow them to focus on what matters most: 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 build upon Ford’s new connected vehicle ecosystem – Ford vehicle connectivity technology, Ford Transportation Mobility Cloud and Ford mobility solutions – enabling them to benefit from Ford’s continuous vehicle improvement, data know-how and expertise, and access to the latest data signals.
Ford has already announced that, by 2020, it will provide connectivity across its entire vehicle range in Europe. Ford will launch Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services in Europe in the spring of 2019, arriving in the U.K. and Germany first with further markets to follow.
Both services will be compatible with the latest range of Ford passenger cars and commercial vehicles, as well as older vehicles without a modem via 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.