Ford is expanding its Ford Telematics service to support all makes and models so fleet operators...

Ford is expanding its Ford Telematics service to support all makes and models so fleet operators can gather, view, and monitor data from all their vehicles, regardless of manufacturer.

Photo: Ford

Ford is expanding its Ford Telematics service to support all makes and models so fleet operators can track all their vehicles through the service regardless of manufacturer, as well as gather, view, and monitor data from all their vehicles, the automaker said.

The automaker also announced that Ford Telematics will now feature a new driver behavior dashboard and vehicle diagnostics functions.

The expanded functionality to support other OEMs aims to provide fleet managers with the ability to analyze all of their fleet vehicles in one dashboard – including the ability to improve uptime, monitor performance and plan maintenance services, Ford said. This new capability from Ford Telematics seeks to provide businesses the flexibility to better manage driver behavior, performance, and compliance goals.

“By supporting all makes and models, expanding the capabilities of Ford Telematics and providing complimentary management tools, we’re arming fleet managers with the knowledge they need to maintain uptime and increase productivity across their fleet,” said Alex Purdy, director of business operations, Enterprise Connectivity, Ford Motor Company. 

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, according to Ford. This expanded functionality is provided as part of the regular subscription cost for Ford Telematics. Per-unit pricing is consistent between Ford and non-Ford vehicles, Ford confirmed.

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 also announced a new fleet-wide driver behavior dashboard and individual driver scores that helps improve performance, the automaker said.

The driver behavior dashboard gives managers a survey of how their vehicles are performing, providing information about specific driving trends, Ford said. 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.

Ford has also launched a Ford Telematics Essentials for Ford vehicles, a complimentary level of service for commercial customers.

Ford Telematics Essentials gives fleets access to vehicle health insights such as odometer readings, diagnostic trouble code, 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. 

Ford Telematics Essentials will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, Ford Telematics continues to expand its feature offerings and the amount of data it can share with fleets about their vehicles, including support for more than 3,800 diagnostic trouble codes.

Ford also plans to improve uptime for commercial fleets via its continued adoption of over-the-air update capability, beginning with the 2022 F-150, Ford said. 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.

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