Ford Pro officially launched in Europe back in April, giving fleet customers in that region a new connected services provider aimed at saving them money and keeping their vehicles on the road. Since then, Ford Pro has also launched a number of services including end-to-end charging solutions for EVs. These offerings are key in a market where vans play a vital role in the economy – particularly one where the Ford Transit Custom remains a hot-selling entity with a brand-new, next-gen PHEV, diesel, and EV variant – the E-Transit Custom – on the way. Now, the new Ford Upfit Integration System has been announced and will launch alongside the new Transit Custom, giving customers even more flexibility in terms of how they manage their fleets.
The Ford Upfit Integration System is a brand new digital solution for Transit Custom owners that are seeking to convert that model in some way, shape, or form – something that around 50 percent of customers opt to do. Many of the modifications related to upfitting require some sort of integration with the vehicle’s electrical system, such as adding controls and displays, which is oftentimes challenging and time consuming.
That’s precisely where the new Ford Upfit Integration System comes into play – it features an interface module that allows for a seamless connection to the vehicle’s electrical system, and also enables conversions to be controlled via the 13-inch SYNC 4 touchscreen rather than bolt-on switchgear. This allows conversions to be delivered more quickly and efficiently, as well as potentially improving reliability and safety as converters will not have to modify the cab area or splice into factory wiring to fit those controls.
Customers can also set logic for the operation of conversions, such as preventing a wheelchair ramp from being lowered unless the vehicle is stopped and in park or neutral with the handbrake on. In addition to showing conversion performance on the SYNC screen, digital upfits will also be able to link to Ford Pro software packages for remote monitoring by fleet managers – for example, to track the temperature in refrigerated vehicles carrying pharmaceuticals or food and drink where an uninterrupted cold chain is essential.
Prospective European Transit Custom buyers can get more information on this new Upfit Integration System from the Ford Pro Special Vehicles Digital Solutions team, but for now, the new feature will launch alongside the next-gen van when deliveries begin in mid-2023.