A Telematics-rooted Take on Optimizing Your Fleet

The human excellence knows no boundaries, and yet it also doesn’t know anything better than how to pursue growth at a consistent pace. We say this because the stated reality has brought the world some huge milestones, with technology emerging as quite a major member of the group. The reason why we hold technology in such a high regard is, by and large, predicated upon its skill-set, which guided us towards a reality that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface for one hot second, it will become clear that the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component, in fact, did a lot to give the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and as a result, initiated a full-blown tech revolution. Of course, the next thing this revolution did was to scale to scale up the human experience through some outright avenues, but even after achieving a feat so notable, technology will somehow continue to bring forth the right goods. The same has turned more and more evident in recent times, and assuming one new automotive-themed development ends up with the desired impact, it will only put that trend on a higher pedestal moving forward.

Ford Pro, the commercial division within Ford Motor Company, has officially unveiled a whole new set of software and technology features to give fleet managers greater insight and control regarding how their commercial vehicles operate. Pulling data from a connected vehicle and then integrating it into the Ford Pro Intelligence platform, the stated assortment of features begin from Ford Pro Telematics. You see, moving forward, Ford Pro will be able to help you access video telematics right from within its intelligence platform. It will do so through a windshield-mounted and cloud-connected dashcam, provided by Lytx, with two specialized lenses to capture road-facing and in-cab footage. Once captured, the data is stored in the Ford Pro Intelligence platform for 30 days, where customers can retrieve and view it at any moment during that period. Talk about the dashcam’s outward-facing lens, it can prove enormously useful in providing concrete evidence, should there be an on-the-job incident. This can strengthen your case against insurance claims, making up an interesting detail with auto insurance premiums going up 17% in the first half of 2023. Notably, the insights promised here are going to be based on the customer’s Ford Pro Telematics subscription level and business needs. Anyway, it also has the means to capture context related to vehicle alerts or driving events, such as harsh braking. Such context, like you can guess, can go a long distance when the agenda is to coach drivers on compliant driving habits. Well-equipped to pick behavior such as smoking, drinking, or cell phone usage, the capability activates itself and initiates recording every time the driver is found to be speeding, deploying airbags, or not wearing a seatbelt. That being said, you can activate the same manually as well. Next up, we must dig into an Upfit Integration System (UIS), which was first seen in US during 2023. Simplifying the process of upfitting commercial vehicles, UIS will basically eliminate the need for aftermarket modules, hard switches, and secondary control panels. In case that doesn’t sound like a lot, then it might be worth the while to mention how Ford Pro UIS is also expecting to be joined by a standard Vehicle Motion Inhibit control. The idea here is to create logic for the purpose of preventing the given vehicle from being shifted into gear while powered upfit equipment is deployed (e.g., cranes and lifts). Another major feature coming into play is a Sub Compartment Lock. The said lock will let drivers lock and unlock compartments containing secured equipment or cargo using a touchscreen button on the SYNC® screen, door code, or key fob, thus enabling them to get that job done without ever using traditional physical keys.

We covered how Ford Pro is set to bring a standard Vehicle Motion Inhibit control, but what we still haven’t discussed is how it is also looking to launch a Fleet Start Inhibit control. This is all about banking on embedded vehicle technology and the Ford Pro Telematics dashboard to let fleet managers remotely disable the start on their vehicles. It also paves the way for managers to send inhibit and de-inhibit commands remotely and protect fleet vehicles from unauthorized use, while simultaneously enabling them to create recurring and one-time schedules. The same is complimented through Vehicle Security app available in the Ford Pro Fleet Marketplace, an app which allows you to trigger a vehicle alarm remotely. Alongside that, it further gives you a chance to create customized security alerts, meaning users can get the alerts to go off whenever a vehicle starts away from its last location, or even when someone opens a door during specific time windows.

“We’re thrilled to participate in Ford Pro’s next generation of cloud-connected fleet technologies,” said Adam McCarty, Senior Vice President at Lytx. “Both Ford Pro and Lytx are united in our commitment to help customers optimize their fleet investments. We also aim to encourage better driving and protect against loss. Through continued innovation on our Lytx Vision Platform, we look forward to providing the Ford Pro team with groundbreaking tools. These tools will help fleets drive operational excellence.”

To make the new features tick, however, you would have to activate embedded modems that have enjoyed the stature of a mainstay on all Ford commercial vehicles since 2020. Only once someone gets the modem up and running that they will have a chance of fully realizing the benefits attached to Ford Pro’s new telematics technology.

“Fleet managers have more to deal with than ever. They are tasked with managing fleets, maximizing uptime, and minimizing the risks of accidents to drivers, vehicles, and their business,” said Dave Prusinski, general manager of Ford Pro Integrated Services. “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.”

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