Ford is launching a real-time fleet telematics system in the UK with its technology provider Telogis for the carmaker’s commercial customers. Ford Telematics uses real-time information from Ford vehicles to give businesses insight into vehicle location, driver behaviour and fuel consumption, amongst more comprehensive data.

Announcing the technology at this week’s Commercial Vehicle show in Birmingham, UK, Telogis said that it could bring efficiency gains to customers and has the potential to create fuel cost reductions of up to 20%. It also helps ensure drivers are following safe and economical driving practices according to the company.
Over the past three and half years Telogis has been the exclusive technology provider to power Ford Telematics (formerly Ford Crew Chief) in the US and Canada. The UK expansion builds on that relationship and will be pushed out to more European markets during this year. The company said using the UK for that European expansion was a strategic step given Ford’s strength in the country in terms of commercial vehicle sales.

The telematics system works by securely transmitting vehicle data and metrics from the vehicle to a dedicated Telogis website via an embedded cellular connection.

According to Paul Reynolds, director of automotive business for Telogis in the EMEA region, the system advances typical fleet telematics applications because of the depth of the data made available by Ford. The system accesses a range of proprietary information to enable operators to track details such as oil change warnings, water contamination in diesel fuel, tyre pressure, safety belt usage and airbag status.

“All that is available to us only, which gives way more information into how to operate your fleet and your driver behaviour, and ultimately be more preventative in your maintenance and scheduling,” Reynolds told Automotive Logistics.

“What we have done over and above the classic telematics is engineered a lot of data that Ford has unlocked and shared with us and we are now making this actionable,” he added.

Further advances include a suite of more than 80 pre-loaded reports, integration with established business operating systems and fuel card services.

“Commercial trucks have to be more than delivery boxes on wheels, and innovations like Ford Telematics are critical to helping our fleet customers succeed,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford, in coordination with Telogis, is leading the development of smart solutions for hardworking fleets so they can maximize their operations to better serve their customers.”

The system is compatible with Ford’s latest range of Transit commercial vehicles as well as the Ford Ranger pickup. The hardware can also be fitted to any other vehicles on the fleet, regardless of manufacturer said Telogis. It will be available to customers in May this year.