INDIANAPOLIS. Ford Motor Company and telematics partner Telogis today introduced a “next-generation” connected vehicle solution designed to deliver advanced capabilities and benefits to commercial fleets of any size, operating any mix of equipment. The new offering, called Ford Telematics powered by Telogis, replaces and rebrands Ford’s Crew Chief powered by Telogis connectivity solution.
Unveiled this evening at NTEA’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN, Ford Telematics brings Ford customers a broad scope of Cloud-based capabilities, including the ability to gather intelligence from the vehicle, monitor driver behavior and provide drivers with real-time support. It also gives fleets access to “actionable analytics,” such as ready-to-use dashboards for fuel, driver behavior and operations, along with improved reports and an updated, version 2.0 KPI (key performance indicator) for global organizational analytics and analysis.
“We are in exciting times with Ford,” Greg Dziewit, vice president commercial OEM for Telogis told Fleet Owner in an earlier interview. “This is truly a whole new hardware platform with a new user interface and a new analytics engine. It gives users greater visibility to new data and new ways of turning it into useable information.“The key benefit for customers is ease,” he added. “You can spec Ford Telematics so that the vehicle comes right off the line with all the technology on the truck. Because it is a Ford offering, it can be financed and capitalized with the vehicle and is covered by Ford’s vehicle warranty like any other component.
“Then the customer just has to go to the Ford Telematics website, type in the VIN (vehicle identification number) and give the vehicle a name,” Dziewit explained. “The vehicle then starts ‘talking’ to the Cloud. That is where Telogis comes in. We have the Cloud and platform services and can capture that data and provide it to our joint customer set.”
“Ford is the market share leader in commercial trucks, and we believe this is due in part to our telematics,” Bill Frykman, manager, product and business development connected services for Ford, told Fleet Owner.
“More and more, our customers want to connect to improve service and maintenance," he said. "Our vision and underlying strategy is to keep trucks on the road by helping fleets to see pending issues so that they can plan ahead and respond.”
The next generation connectivity solution will initially be available for Ford’s Super Duty product line (model years 2009 and later), the Ford Transit (model year 2015), the Ford E-Series (model years 2009 and later), the F150 (model years 2009 and later), Transit Connect (model years 2010 and later) and for the Interceptor Sedan and Utility (model years 2013 and later).
Ford and Telogis also made the decision to make Ford Telematics available for retrofit on any vehicle. “All of our joint customers have existing vehicles on the ground,” said Dziewit. “They can always retrofit a device on their other Ford vehicles; we made a retrofit kit for Ford. They can also add it to any other vehicles of any other make in their fleet. It can even be installed on non-vehicles, such as heavy iron or containers.”
The system is designed to give customers the ability to:
- Connect companies and their customers all on the same screen
- Connect and empower mobile resources in the field
- Optimize maps to instantly see connected resources
- Integrate with new workflows, scripted alerts and API’s to bring data access to teams in the field
- Provide drivers with audible feedback in the event of actions such as hard-braking, speeding and excessive idle time
- Customize driver scorecards and dashboards plus add the optional Telogis Coach function
- Integrate fuel management
- Create Hours of Service (HOS) reports and alerts to manage DOT compliance
- Create DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection) reports and alerts
“We recognize that fleets may have other sorts of assets besides Fords,” said Frykman. “Ford offers a richer set of data for our own vehicles, of course, but they can all be seen on one portal.”
The Telogis device is hardened for long use on commercial vehicles and it can be upgraded remotely over-the air to keep it current, noted Frykman.
“We generally dispose of our smart phones in less than two years,” he said, “but Ford’s telematics hardware has to keep working six, eight, even ten years. We can upgrade the software over-the-air to keep it current and to add new functionality as it becomes available. That means the software we developed with Telogis in 2011 is still current in 2015. Customers get the best of both worlds.”
“We are committed to being a leader in this space,” Fritz Ahadi, general manager, commercial and government fleet sales for Ford, told Fleet Owner. “And innovating with our partners like Telogis is how we define being a leader.
“We have been working on Ford Telematics with Telogis for nearly four years now, since 2011,” he added. “We fully embrace telematics and believe this offering is unmatched.”