Photo courtesy of Ford.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford has begun a driver-behavior study in partnership with Hewlett-Packard to gather data and better understand fleet driving habits as part of a global mobility initiative.

For the study, Ford installed data-collection devices into the OBD-II ports of 100 H-P fleet vehicles in the U.S. earlier this year. The device will gather information such as where drivers stop for gas or get their oil changed. It will also collect data about routing, speed, and elapsed travel time. The device sends the data back to Ford and H-P via a cloud server, according to Mike Levine, a Ford spokesman.

As part of the study, individual drivers can check their stats in real time on mobile devices. Most of the H-P drivers are members of the sales and service teams who visit customers. Some of the H-P drivers use their vehicles for personal commuting. Ford plans to share early findings from the study by the end of March.

The study is part of Ford's SMART Mobility experiments that include 25 research projects from around the globe to test new ideas and address growing transportation challenges, including parking availability in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and London; car sharing in Germany and Bangalore, India; urban commuting in Shangai; and rural medical support in The Gambia.

Hewlett-Packard's fleet, which is managed by GE Capital Fleet Services in the U.S., include more than 9,500 Ford vehicles, including 4,500 crossovers, 4,100 cars, 500 SUVs, and 400 vans, according to Automotive Fleet research.