Building upon Ford’s long-standing commitment to commercial and government fleets, as well as the company’s commitment to deliver 100 percent connectivity across its vehicle lineup, Ford Commercial Solutions is introducing two products designed to help fleets easily access useful data about their vehicles.
Ford is the overall leader in the fleet business and has sold America’s best-selling line of commercial vehicles for 33 straight years. The creation of Ford Commercial Solutions builds on that leadership by helping fleet operators make the most of increased automotive connectivity.
A business unit of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford Commercial Solutions has one goal – to help fleets improve their operational effectiveness by offering OEM-grade data verified by Ford engineers such as fuel use and vehicle health alerts. The Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), an open platform that securely manages information flow to and from Ford vehicles’ embedded modems, facilitates both new products.
“Business owners and operators want to serve their customers, not spend excessive time managing their fleets,” said Lee Jelenic, CEO, Ford Commercial Solutions. “Our goal is to unlock the data from their vehicles to provide them with more effective ways to manage their fleets and improve operations.
“Our new products are tailored to serve fleets of all types, whether they’re run by law enforcement, composed predominantly of Ford vehicles, or are large multi-make fleets that want more insight from their Ford vehicles.”
The Data Services product focuses primarily on serving large company fleets, telematics service providers and fleet management companies. The service takes advantage of Ford vehicles’ built-in modem to transfer vehicle data directly from the vehicle to the cloud, without the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime, as is required for a third-party plug-in device. The vehicle data is relayed to a fleet’s internal IT system or telematics service provider through an application program interface.
Utilizing Data Services, fleets can gain access to Ford vehicle information such as GPS location, mileage, fuel use data, vehicle health alerts, driver behavior and more. Because Ford designed the vehicle – including its electrical architecture, data systems and vehicle technology – the company is able to provide the newest updates and vehicle signals as soon as they become available, and deliver insights as quickly as businesses need them.
Additionally, Ford Commercial Solutions is committed to ensuring fleets have the power to choose which telematics service provider or fleet management company is the best fit for their business. While continuing its existing relationship with Verizon Connect, Ford Commercial Solutions has secured new service agreements with Geotab and Spireon to ensure fleet operators have choice in telematics service providers.
“Fleets told us they want to be able to choose how to best manage their fleets,” said Jelenic. “Our agreements with different service providers, coupled with the new products we are introducing, allow us to offer this.”
Ford Commercial Solutions’ second product is a new fleet information tool designed to support law enforcement fleets. The tool uses information collected through the Data Services product and distills it to provide police fleets with insights that can help improve fleet efficiency and driver behavior. The application translates information flowing from their Ford vehicles into insights on fuel usage, carbon dioxide emissions, vehicle health and driver seatbelt usage.
That data is shared through an intuitive website that provides law enforcement operators with an easy way to check how their fleet, or a particular vehicle, is operating.
Fleets with Ford vehicles that are not equipped with modems will be able to take advantage of both Ford Commercial Solutions products later this year, when a Ford-engineered plug-in device will enable fleets to connect Ford vehicles dating back to the 2012 model year.