Ford has announced a new data-based service designed to reduce downtime for commercial vehicle operators.
The new service, which the manufacturer is calling FordLiive, uses real-time data from vehicles, with the aim of optimising the productivity of each vehicle in a customer’s fleet, through fewer breakdowns, and quicker servicing and repair times.
FordLiive enables a ‘smart maintenance’ service, allowing servicing to be scheduled at the most efficient time, and providing notifications when an action is recommended to prevent a breakdown.
Maintenance information specific to each vehicle is generated by the system, based on real-time data sent automatically from the FordPass Connect modem, which since mid-2019 has been fitted as standard with Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect, Ranger, and Fiesta Van vehicles.
The information is supplied to fleet managers via the FordPass Pro and Ford Telematics services.
The system monitors levels of oil, AdBlue, and tyre pressures, as well as helping with maintenance and service scheduling.
According to Ford, its engineers estimate up to 30% of maintenance call-outs could be avoided if notifications are followed.
Connected vehicle data is also fed into Ford’s Transit Centre servicing network, with technicians able to access the last 60 days of each vehicle’s data, to help with diagnosis and allow parts to be ordered before the vehicle gets to the workshop. Data will also provide fleet insight to allow the most suitable replacement vehicle to be lined up, in the event that extended downtime is unavoidable.
Ford is also piloting virtual reality headsets for engineers, allowing experts from elsewhere to advise on repairs in real time.
FordLiive is being made available free of charge, and will be rolled out across European markets during 2021, starting with the UK and Ireland.
Ford says further features of the service will continue to be added after launch.