Ford Commercial Solutions, a newly created department of Ford Motor Co., has introduced Data Services, a fleet telematics offering that gives fleet managers and telematics service providers direct access to OEM-grade vehicle data for improved fleet management.
According to Ford, the Ford Commercial Solutions business unit has a goal of helping 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 the Data Services product.
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.
A second product newly introduced by Ford is designed for police fleets. It takes data collected through the Data Services product and distills it into information that can help improve fleet efficiency and driver behavior.
In addition, Ford Commercial Solutions has entered into new service agreements with Geotab and Spireon, while continuing to work with Verizon Connect to ensure that fleet operators have choice in telematics service providers.
“Business owners and operators want to serve their customers, not spend excessive time managing their fleets,” said Lee Jelenic, chief executive officer of 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.”