Ford today announced two new fleet-management products that it is launching in the hopes of helping commercial and government fleet operators better manage their fleets, and helping drivers improve their efficiency. Both products are the work of Ford Commercial Solutions – a division of Ford’s Smart Mobility subsidiary – and they leverage Ford’s initiative to spread vehicle connectivity across 100-percent of its vehicle lineup by 2019 to provide a constant stream of important vehicle data to fleet managers.
Ford’s Data Services product is aimed at large company fleets, telematics service providers, and fleet management companies. It uses each Ford vehicle’s embedded modem to send data like fuel consumption figures and vehicle health metrics to the cloud, where it is then relayed to the relevant telematics service provider or fleet IT system. Other important data points include GPS location, mileage, and information regarding driver behavior.
“Business owners and operators want to serve their customers, not spend excessive time managing their fleets,” says Ford Commercial Solutions CEO Lee Jelenic. “Our goal is to unlock the data from their vehicles to provide them with more effective ways to manage their fleets and improve operations.”
A second product, aimed squarely at law-enforcement fleets, builds upon the Data Services product, distilling all the collected data into tips and insights that encourage safe driving habits and more efficient vehicle operation. The service looks at data such as fuel usage, carbon emissions, vehicle health, and even seatbelt usage to provide law-enforcement fleet operators with simple steps their drivers can take to improve. A website allows operators to review the driving performance of individual drivers, or the fleet as a whole.
“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,” Jelenic says.
Ford is an undisputed leader in the commercial vehicle space, responsible for America’s best-selling line of commercial vehicles for 33 straight years, according to IHS Markit data. With these advanced new services that allow operators to easily keep tabs on their fleets without having to turn to a third-party plugin, Ford might just have strengthened its position as top dog.
Plus, the services could lay the foundation for future commercial EV telematics, and could even help Ford gain insight into how its commercial products are being used, and how they’re performing.