Ford offers new data-monitoring services for vehicle fleets

The cloud now knows how vehicles run, and to where

Ford is bringing two connectivity solutions to the market, designed for fleet use. Both of them monitor vehicle data and report to fleet managers; the difference is that one of them is aimed at commercial vehicle operators and the other is aimed at law enforcement.

Both factory-provided systems use the vehicles' built-in modem to transfer data to Ford's Transportation Mobility Cloud, which has been tailored to Ford by a Silicon Valley based startup, Autonomic. The manufacturer wants to expand connectivity to all its products by 2019, and rolling out these services in fleet usage feels like a natural choice.

Ford's Data Services provides fleet operators with information such as GPS location, mileage, fuel usage, vehicle health and driver behavior — all valuable info for a commercial fleet. The other, unnamed product builds on top of the Data Services system and focuses on fuel use, vehicle emissions and health as well as seatbelt usage. Systems can also be retrofitted into vehicles as old as the 2012 model year, using a Ford plug-in device.

Ford has established ties to Verizon as a telematics service operator, and it is now adding Geotab and Spireon to the fold.

"Business owners and operators want to serve their customers, not spend excessive time managing their fleets," says Ford Commercial Solutions CEO Lee Jelenic. "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."

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