Ford launches system to boost vehicle uptime

Ford has launched FORDLiive, a new connected uptime system designed to help Ford commercial vehicle operators increase their productivity by maximising vehicle uptime.

FORDLiive aims to help customers reduce 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%.

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, with more than one million anticipated by mid-2022.

FORDLiive is 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, FORDLiive is the ultimate tool to optimise uptime. We won’t rest in our pursuit of 100% operating uptime for all of our customers.”

FORDLiive will be progressively rolled out across European markets during 2021, starting with the UK and Ireland, leading to 80% of customers being covered by dedicated uptime centres before the end of the year.

To ensure each vehicle is available for work when the customer needs it, 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, 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.  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, 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.

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 network of 100 Transit Centres in the UK can see 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.

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.

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now the editor of our three commercial vehicle titles: The Van Expert, The Truck Expert and Commercial Vehicle Engineer.

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