A global trend of using telematics in cars seems to have an effect on Ford Motors as they are planning to offer connectivity on all its cars from 2020 in Europe.
Besides this, the car manufacturer had already announced last September about the launch of two products in the European region for first half of 2019: Ford Telematics, which would connect Ford brand vehicles to a web-based portal that can be operated by fleet managers; and Ford Data Services, providing the similar access to vehicle data but allows customers to plug that data into their own or third-party telematics systems. According to an estimate, more than 50,000 vehicles will be participating in this test.
Ford’s telematics operations are part of the Ford Smart Mobility division, with a company’s vision to expand carmaker’s traditional business beyond the building and selling of cars, to offer software and mobility services. Ford is offering its connectivity and is allowing the third-party telematics service providers to access its vehicle data. According to the director of Ford Commercial Solutions Europe, Phatak: “If they (customers) want to use Ford Telematics, we connect them with that, but if they want to use a third-party telematics provider, we offer a high-grade clean data API.”
Ford is claiming to provide more data from the Ford-engineered system than through the modems connected to cars’ OBD 2 ports. “Our device is installed slightly upstream of the OBD 2 port,” said Phatak. “If you obtain the data that way, you get 100s or 1,000s of signals you wouldn’t get through the OBD 2 port.” An example is seatbelt usage but there is a wealth of other car information that isn’t available through OBD 2. “That’s a win-win for both the service provider and the customer,” Phatak said.