Ford Pro accelerates vehicle insights and control

Commercial division of Ford gasses up connected car offer by expanding suite of telematics productivity solutions to give commercial customers more insight and control over their fleet vehicles

Ford Pro has unveiled several software and technology features to give fleet managers more insight about their commercial vehicles and how they are operated to manage fleet risk.

Ford Pro, the commercial division within Ford Motor Company, develops solutions to deliver an always-on, connected customer experience through a suite of solutions including vehicles, charging, software, financing, and service for all commercial and government customers. It looks to pull connected vehicle data and integrate it into the Ford Pro Intelligence platform to arm fleet managers with a new level of insight about and control over vehicles on the road and when upfitted equipment is in use.

Explaining the rationale for making the significant enhancements to the core solution, Dave Prusinski, general manager of Ford Pro Integrated Services, said: “Fleet managers have more to deal with than ever: managing fleets, maximising uptime, and minimising the risks of accidents to drivers, vehicles, and their business.

“Ford Pro Intelligence, now with video telematics, gives fleet managers more visibility and control over what’s happening inside the cabin and on the road. It’s like having a coach in the passenger seat.”

Ford Pro will offer video telematics fully integrated into the Ford Pro Intelligence platform. The system uses a windshield-mounted, cloud-connected dashcam from dashcam provider Lytx, with two lenses to capture road-facing and in-cab footage. It delivers insights based on the customer’s Ford Pro Telematics subscription level and business needs. Data is stored within the Ford Pro Intelligence platform for 30 days, where customers can retrieve and view it at any moment within that time frame.

The dashcam’s outward-facing lens records footage that can potentially provide important evidence in the case of an on-the-job incident. It can also capture context related to vehicle alerts or driving events, such as harsh braking to help avoid a road hazard.

The driver-facing lens captures behaviour such as smoking, drinking or cell phone usage to observe and potentially help correct and minimise distracted driving. Events such as speeding, airbag deployment or failure to wear a seatbelt will trigger the system to begin recording.

The driver can also manually begin a recording when needed. In a possible use case, the footage could be used to coach drivers on compliant driving habits and potentially strengthen cases against insurance claims.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Ford Pro’s next generation of cloud-connected fleet technologies. Both Ford Pro and Lytx are united in our commitment to help customers optimise their fleet investments, help encourage better driving, and protect against loss,” said Lytx senior vice-president Adam McCarty. “Through continued innovation on our Lytx Vision Platform, we look forward to providing the Ford Pro team with ground-breaking tools to help fleets drive operational excellence.”

Another element to the move will see standard vehicle motion inhibit control coming to the Ford Pro Upfit Integration System (UIS). The Ford Pro UIS is designed to eliminate the need for aftermarket modules, hard switches, and secondary control panels. The feature will allow upfitters to create logic to prevent the vehicle from being shifted into gear while powered upfit equipment is deployed (e.g., cranes and lifts). A sub-compartment lock will aim to allow drivers to use a touchscreen button on the SYNC screen, door code or key fob to lock and unlock compartments in which equipment or cargo is secured.

A Fleet Start Inhibit feature will use embedded vehicle technology and the Ford Pro Telematics dashboard to let fleet managers remotely disable the start on their vehicles. Managers will be able to create recurring and one-time schedules or send inhibit and de-inhibit commands remotely to secure fleet vehicles from unauthorised use.

A Vehicle Security app found in the Ford Pro Fleet Marketplace also allows fleet managers to trigger a vehicle alarm remotely and create security alerts. These include alerts when a vehicle is started away from its last location or when a door is opened during certain time windows.

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