Ford Motor Co. has established a connected-vehicle business unit to serve secure data about commercial and police fleet vehicles as part of its cloud-based mobility initiative, the company has announced.
Ford Commercial Solutions has also signed agreements with telematics providers Geotab and Spireon. It will also continue its existing relationship with Verizon Connect, according to the company.
Ford Commercial Solutions, a business unit of Ford Smart Mobility, will offer vehicle data verified by Ford engineers, including fuel use and vehicle health alerts. The open-platform Transportation Mobility Cloud securely manages information to and from Ford vehicles, which will all have embedded modems by the end of 2019, the company has said.
"Business owners and operators want to serve their customers, not spend excessive time managing their fleets," said Lee Jelenic, chief executive 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."
Ford will initially offer two products, including Data Services for large company fleets and a fleet information tool for law enforcement fleets. Data Services transfers vehicle data directly to the cloud server from the vehicle's built-in modem without the need for a device that plugs in to a vehicle's OBD-II port. Data Services will provide information such as GPS location, mileage, fuel use data, vehicle health alerts, and driver behavior.
The second product is a tool that collects data from the Data Services product and distills it for police fleets. It offers insights on fuel usage, carbon dioxide emissions, vehicle health, and driver seatbelt usage. The data is shared through a website for law enforcement fleet managers.
Fleets with older vehicles will be able to use the service later this year, when Ford begins offering a plug-in device that connects fleet vehicles dating back to the 2012 model year.