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Ford to provide dealers with data link to vans for faster servicing and repair

Ford is launching a new free-of-charge connected maintenance system for its commercial vehicles that will allow dealers to remotely access diagnostic data.

FORDLiive is designed to support fleet operators and business owners to keep their vehicle on the road with fewer breakdowns, by providing advanced warning of potential maintenance requirements and giving dealers access to more data.

Ford’s network of 800 Transit Centres (110 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.

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.

The new system allowing scheduling of servicing at the most efficient time and providing notifications when an action is identified that could help prevent a breakdown.

Vehicle-specific maintenance information can be provided 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. 

Ford engineers have estimated that up to 30% of roadside assistance call-outs could be avoided if customers respond to 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.

It provides users 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.

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