Ford has launched a new telematics system for its CVs that can be retro- fitted to vehicles registered from 2010 onwards and which will also be operational for the brand’s car models by the end of this year.
Partnering with Telogis, a company it has been working with on telematics in the US since 2011, the software uses real-time information streamed from each vehicle, allowing managers to track location, fuel consumption and driver behaviour, and provide safety and maintenance alerts, such as on oil life and engine temperature to help guide service and repair schedules and so a level can be set where the user would get a call if it is breached. Concepts under discussion also include the capability to ringfence Ford dealerships, for example, so an operator would know when their vehicle has entered and left a site for repair work. Other features could be added depending on customer demand for specific developments, which would then be rolled out to the wider customer base via an update, while the firms are claiming a cost saving on fuel of 10–15% would be easily achieved.
By plugging into a port in the vehicle’s electrical system, Ford is targeting a 30-minute maximum installation time, which means moving it from vehicle to vehicle is straightforward. available from any Ford dealership, the system can be fitted to any van or car. The most basic level of trip distance and fuel used will be available for all models, regardless of manufacturer, whereas with Fords there will be 20–25 core lines of data, but the potential for hundreds of others to be included. “It gives Ford a first to market in the way it is installed and the type of hardware – it’s a big leap forward,” Telogis’ European automotive director Paul Reynolds told What Van?
Telogis can also bolt-on the likes of routing, fuel cards, insurance and other fleet-relevant applications. “anyone running telematics needs three or four relationships to get to that, but we can make it a one-stop shop,” said Reynolds.
It will also be possible to configure the system so the driver will also be able to see the information recorded about their journeys, and discuss situations with their fleet manager.
Cost is yet to be defined, but it will be around £24 per vehicle per month.