How OEM telematics are a win-win-win for Fleets, OEMs and dealers
By reducing the number of breakdowns, enabling fewer time-consuming visits to dealer workshops, and achieving quicker servicing and repair times, Ford believes vehicle downtime can be reduced by up to 60% with its Liive connectivity system. After Mercedes-Benz Vans, the Blue Oval is pulling out all stops to position itself as the connected LCV leader in Europe.
Connecting Ford’s commercial vehicle customers, the Transit Centre network and the automaker itself, the system uses real-time vehicle data to individually optimise the productivity of each vehicle in a customer’s fleet.
Ford Liive will be available free-of-charge, with small businesses and larger fleets able to access its benefits through the FordPass Pro app and a dedicated version of the Ford Telematics tool respectively.
“Our customers’ businesses stop whenever their vehicles are off the road,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “Combining the benefits of real-time connectivity with our commercial vehicle know-how, Ford Liive is the ultimate tool to optimise uptime. We won’t rest in our pursuit of 100% operating uptime for all of our customers.”
Ford Liive will be progressively rolled out across European markets during 2021, with 80% of customers being covered by dedicated uptime centres before the end of the year. Ford is committed to further increasing Ford Liive’s capability, and will continue to phase in uptime-boosting services across Europe after launch.
Ford Liive allows scheduling of servicing at the most efficient time and providing notifications when an action is identified that could help prevent a breakdown.
Analysing real-time vehicle data, Ford Liive provides vehicle-specific maintenance information to customers. Small businesses with up to five vehicles receive notifications through the FordPass Pro app, while managers of larger fleets are kept informed by a vehicle health dashboard in a dedicated version of Ford Telematics.
Vehicle health data is automatically sent by the vehicle’s FordPass Connect modem, featuring as standard for Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect, Ranger and Fiesta Van models since mid-2019.
In addition to helping operators plan maintenance and schedule convenient service times, the Smart Maintenance feature helps customers monitor and manage remaining oil life, AdBlue levels and tyre pressures to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled downtime.
Improving dealer capability
To optimise the dealer experience for customers, new Ford Service Pro offers a suite of specialist services built around commercial operators’ servicing needs, using new connected data features to streamline tasks and deliver faster turnaround.
Ford’s unrivalled network of 800 Transit Centres can see the past 60 days of customers’ vehicle data through Smart Diagnostics, 6 supporting faster diagnosis and enabling parts to be proactively ordered ahead of a vehicle arriving in the workshop. Shared vehicle data also helps dealers provide the most effective operating advice for customers, including bundling upcoming tasks to minimise workshop appointments and facilitating triage for urgent repairs.
In the event of extended downtime being unavoidable, Transit Centres’ insight into the customer’s specific requirements will help identify the required capable replacement vehicle to keep their business moving.
Ford Liive is also increasing the connectivity of Ford engineers by piloting virtual reality headsets, “teleporting” Ford experts into Transit Centres to help diagnose complex issues and offer effective solutions, saving on the time and cost of physical travel.
The human touch
Crucial to the new offering, Ford Liive Centres are staffed with dedicated expert Ford Liive Agents, focused exclusively on keeping customers on the road by identifying and quickly responding to emerging issues.
The teams at these uptime centres use new UptimePro software, which receives live data from Transit Centres to track every repair for optimum uptime. If the system detects delays to repairs or repeated visits from the same vehicle, Ford Liive Agents will advise on the best solution to identify and fix the underlying issue as quickly as possible.
Ford Liive Agents act as the automaker’s eyes and ears to ensure that Ford’s expert teams are immediately involved to support the dealer, whether they require in-depth technical support from engineers or accelerated parts supply to fix a customer’s vehicle.
Picture copyright: Ford, 2021