How Ford is keeping CVs connected

Engineer on phone

Commercial vehicle downtime is bad for business, it’s why Ford has developed a connected, real-time diagnostic system to keep its vans on the road

Commercial vehicle fleets need to minimise downtime because if a van is off the road it isn’t earning money for the business. It’s why connected diagnostic tools are becoming increasingly popular and a more important part of commercial fleet maintenance. And manufacturers are now becoming a more significant part of the system.

Ford has developed its connected diagnostic system – FORDLiive – to help commercial vehicle operators keep their vehicles on the road. With around 500,000 connected Ford commercial vehicles already operating on Europe’s roads, and more than a million anticipated by mid-2022, the technology could play an incredibly important part in making sure the wheels keep turning.

FORDLiive connects Ford’s commercial vehicle customers, the Transit Centre network and the automaker itself, using real-time vehicle data to individually optimise the productivity of each vehicle in a customer’s fleet.

It works by analysing real-time vehicle data, delivering 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 Ford Telematics.

The system can also send notifications to help customers monitor and manage remaining oil life, AdBlue levels and tyre pressures to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled downtime.

FORDLiive is capable of looking at the past 60 days of a customers’ vehicle data, which should help speed up diagnosis in case of a breakdown and enable 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.

“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, FORDLiive is the tool to optimise uptime.”

There are a number of connected options in the market to keep commercial fleets on the road, but Ford’s move to develop its own offering highlights how important connected systems are becoming. And the demand will only grow as more vehicles come online, but that should be good for fleets with fewer vehicles off the road.