Ford launched its Telematics web-based software platform and subscription service for commercial vehicles last summer in Europe, then followed that with the debut of the Ford Liive Connected Uptime System– a suite of software aimed at keeping fleets on the road – this past March. Telematics was later extended to all makes and models – not just Ford vehicles – last fall. Now, the automaker continues to expand its commercial connected vehicle services with the all-new Ford Telematics Essentials software.
“Introducing Ford Telematics Essentials is a major milestone in the delivery of our FORDLiive service and will help fleet customers maximize their productivity at no extra cost,” said Owen Gregory, director, Commercial Vehicle Aftersales, Ford of Europe. “Having instant visibility of the health of every connected vehicle is a real game-changer, and promises to transform how businesses run and maintain their fleets.”
Ford Telematics Essentials is a free fleet management tool that gives fleet owners/operators a detailed look at their vehicles’ health, delivering maintenance alerts based on real-time data collected from the vehicle using what Ford calls Smart Diagnostics. The idea behind this software is to maximize uptime by preventing breakdowns and improving the efficiency of service appointments and repairs. Currently, this feature is available only in the European countries of France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.
Additionally, the data collected from the vehicle is shared with nearby Ford Transit Centers to further aid efficiency, while fleet owners and operators can view all of the associated data via a web-based interface at the Ford Commercial Solutions website, all thanks to the vehicle’s FordPass Connect modem. The modem has been standard equipment on the Ford Transit, Transit Custom, and Ford Ranger since the middle of 2019.
Fleet customers can view each vehicle’s oil life, mileage, and engine hours, which allows them to proactively schedule maintenance appointments, while Smart Maintenance Alerts enhance that information by providing a status on each vehicle – including “Up to Date,” “Action Soon,” “Action Now,” “Overdue,” and “Off the Road” – lumping them into categories so that fleets can schedule maintenance and/or repairs in batches to save time. According to Ford, the entire FORDLiive connected uptime system can reduce downtime by as much as 60 percent.