Against the background of the introduction of the new all-electric E-Transit (earlier post), Ford is expanding its offering of fleet management tools to provide electric-vehicle data, charging reports and web-based pre-conditioning, plus new features that can help secure vehicles and help enhance driver performance.
With new fleet-wide energy monitoring and vehicle management tools from Ford Commercial Solutions, available through app and web-based interfaces, Ford is helping North American commercial fleets and businesses make a seamless transition to electric vehicles. These features will be available to E-Transit customers when the vehicle starts launching next fall.
With the new electric vehicle tools, fleet operators can monitor the performance of individual vans, manage energy usage and gain key insights into their performance. Using electric vehicle-specific data such as kWh consumption, charge speed, distance to empty and more, managers can better understand how they’re operating in real-time in order to help optimize running costs and uptime.
The new tools also enable remote cabin pre-conditioning, so fleet operators can optimize cabin temperatures while E-Transit is plugged in to optimize battery efficiency. Alerts notify managers if a vehicle isn’t plugged in when it’s scheduled to be, while other tools let them remotely manage transactions for public charging and receive reporting to support reimbursement for employees who charge at home.
Along with electric vehicle-specific services, Ford Commercial Solutions is expanding its fleet management offerings to help North American commercial vehicle customers better manage and optimize the efficiency of their fleets.
Helping to improve the performance of their drivers is top of mind for fleet operators, which is why Ford is introducing in-vehicle, real-time driver coaching through SYNC 4 voice assistant. Any time a driver exceeds a speed limit, rapidly accelerates, brakes harshly, leaves the engine running while parked or fails to fasten a seatbelt, they will receive an in-car audio message asking them to correct their behavior.
Additionally, Ford Telematics will enable customers to secure and monitor their vehicles remotely after hours. New alerts will notify fleet operators if a vehicle is potentially being stolen, if it’s used without authorization, if it’s being towed or even if it has been damaged while parked. If any of these events occur, GPS tracking also allows managers to see the location of their vehicles even when they are turned off.
Ford is also offering integrated Driver ID, giving managers an easy way to associate specific drivers with vehicles. By allowing drivers to enter a driver-specific code into the SYNC screen, fleet managers get an accurate record of which driver is using which vehicle. By associating a driver with a specific vehicle, managers could analyze performance metrics to potentially identify new coaching opportunities to help manage driver performance.
All of these features build on Ford Telematics’ existing offerings, which include GPS tracking and geofencing capabilities, vehicle health alerts, fuel and energy consumption data and more.
Beyond these new telematics-based services, Ford Commercial Solutions offers Ford Data Services, which provides manufacturer-grade data from vehicles for integration with proprietary software or existing authorized telematics providers, without the need for third-party plug-in devices.
Ford Commercial Solutions, a division of Ford, is dedicated to helping fleets improve their operational effectiveness by offering manufacturer-grade connected vehicle data and information verified by Ford engineers. When enabled by an activated 4G LTE modem—now embedded standard on all new Ford vehicles—these connected solutions unlock available software subscriptions that help fleets manage their vehicles.