Ford launches telematics-based commerical vehicle maintenance service ‘FORDLiive’23 March 2021

Rolling out across the UK this year is FORDLiive, a new connected uptime system designed to help Ford commercial vehicle operators increase their productivity by maximising vehicle uptime.

FORDLiive promises to transform the way Ford customers run and maintain their vehicles, by reducing the number of breakdowns, enabling fewer time-consuming visits to dealer workshops, and achieving quicker servicing and repair times. Ford projections show FORDLiive can potentially reduce vehicle downtime by up to 60%.

That figure is estimated based on customers promptly responding to vehicle health alerts in FordPass Pro/Ford Telematics to help avoid roadside assistance call-outs, and based on anticipated time saved using Ford Transit Centres for maintenance and repair (including Express Services).

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. Around 500,000 connected Ford commercial vehicles are already operating on Europe’s roads.

FORDLiive enables smart maintenance, allowing 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, FORDLiive provides vehicle-specific maintenance information to customers. Small businesses with up to five vehicles receive notifications through the FordPass Pro app, based on an obligatory FordPass Connect activation.

Managers of larger fleets are kept informed by a vehicle health dashboard in a dedicated version of Ford Telematics. In addition to vehicle health monitoring, this tool includes location and mapping, driving behaviour, fuel usage, multi-make capabilities and a companion app for drivers to interface with fleet managers. It is available later in 2021 via a subscription.

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.

Using data and insights from a leading roadside assistance service in the UK, Ford engineers have estimated that up to 30% of call-outs could be avoided if customers respond to these Smart Maintenance notifications.

In addition to helping operators plan maintenance and schedule convenient service times, Smart Maintenance notifications help customers monitor and manage remaining oil life, AdBlue levels and tyre pressures to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled downtime.

Smart Maintenance provides operators with a plain-language explanation of any warning lights or messages activated in the vehicle, as well as displaying their potential impact on vehicle operation and guidance on appropriate maintenance. Operators will also be notified if their vehicle is subject to a recall.

Ford is also changing the dealer experience for customers. 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, it says.

Ford’s 110 Transit Centres can view the past 60 days of customers’ vehicle data through Smart Diagnostics, 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.

FORDLiive 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.

These new services are in addition to the varied range of available assistance delivered through the Transit Centre network to optimise uptime, including extended opening hours, overnight servicing, while-you-wait express service, vehicle collection and delivery, and Mobile Servicing.

Supporting this servive is a new FORDLiive centre staffed with dedicated agents. They 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, FORDLiive Agents will advise on the best solution to identify and fix the underlying issue as quickly as possible.

FORDLiive 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.

FORDLiive Centre locations include Ford’s Dunton Campus, UK, which is co-located with Ford’s Transit engineering teams for maximum knowledge crossover – and is already up and running.

Author
Transport Engineer

Related Companies
Ford Motor Co Ltd

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