Every trip a driver makes can reveal important digital clues to fleet operators about how their vehicles are being used, unlocking insights to improve employee performance and vehicle health. Now, Ford is ensuring no vehicle gets left behind by expanding Ford Telematics to support all makes and models – regardless of the automaker.
This new capability alongside new tools offered by Ford Telematics gives businesses the flexibility they need to manage their fleets while helping to better manage driver behavior, performance, and compliance goals.
“At Ford, our commitment to fleet customers goes beyond the mix of their fleet,” said Alex Purdy, Director of Business Operations, Enterprise Connectivity, Ford Motor Company. “By supporting all makes and models, expanding the capabilities of Ford Telematics, and providing complementary management tools, we’re arming fleet managers with the knowledge they need to maintain uptime and increase productivity across their fleet.”
With Ford Telematics, fleet operators can now gather, view, and monitor data from all their vehicles, regardless of manufacturer. With this expanded functionality, fleet managers will be able to analyze all of their fleet vehicles in one easy-to-use dashboard, including the ability to improve uptime, monitor performance, and plan maintenance services.
Customers can leverage this capability on most non-Ford vehicles by using a plug-in device that connects to each vehicle with a wiring harness that leaves the OBD II port available for use. Additionally, this expanded functionality is provided as part of the regular subscription cost for Ford Telematics.
The ability to support all makes and models is just the latest step Ford has taken to expand the breadth of its Telematics services. Fleet customers who deploy electric vehicles also have access to an electric vehicle telematics dashboard, which provides features such as electric-vehicle data, charging reports, and web-based pre-conditioning that can help optimize battery efficiency.
Ford Telematics is designed to help customers improve the management and performance of their fleets. The service is constantly introducing new features to do just that, including a fleet-wide driver behavior dashboard and individual driver scores that help improve performance.
The driver behavior dashboard gives managers a survey of how their vehicles are performing, providing information about trends that involve harsh braking or acceleration, speeds driven over posted limits and/or fleet-set thresholds, seatbelt use, and idling time. A personal driver score also lets fleet managers quickly see how specific drivers are doing, giving them opportunities to further coach them on best practices and areas of improvement.
“Because there’s so much data at our fingertips, it’s critical to give fleet managers a clear and simple way to gain insight into their business,” said Purdy. “Ford Telematics gives managers an easy way to break down performance trip by trip, driver by driver, so they can focus on running a safe, productive fleet.”
Severe incident notifications, meanwhile, let fleet operators know when their drivers and vehicles have been involved in a severe incident where the airbag has been triggered. E-mail and in-app alerts can relay the driver involved, the location of the crash, and the time. Vehicle misuse notifications enable managers to set operating hours and receive notifications if their vehicles are being used inappropriately during off-hours.
Information is the lifeblood of any organization, and commercial fleets are no exception. That’s why Ford is moving to make its services even more accessible with the launch of Ford Telematics Essentials for Ford vehicles, a complimentary level of service for commercial customers that will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2021.
Ford Telematics Essentials gives customers access to vehicle health insights such as odometer readings, diagnostic trouble code, and information around oil life, engine hours, and recalls. Later this year, this complimentary service will also allow fleets to digitally track and plan maintenance or repair services with local dealers.
Meanwhile, Ford Telematics continues to expand its feature offerings and the amount of data it can share with fleets about their vehicles, with support for more than 3,800 diagnostic trouble codes. These codes help identify potential issues with vehicles and are coupled with alerts that tell customers whether they should take action immediately or soon in order to remedy a situation.
Further bolstering Ford’s mission to improve uptime for commercial fleets is the widespread adoption of over-the-air update capability, beginning with the 2022 Ford F-150. Vehicles equipped with this technology can receive updates and repairs wirelessly, reducing the need to visit a dealer for maintenance. These updates can be delivered in the background or scheduled by the driver at their convenience, creating another way to keep fleets up-to-date and on the road.