Microlise driving Ford with industry first factory installed telematics solution


UK-based firm seals OEM partnership with motoring giant

Microlise, the expert in delivering efficiency in transport & logistics and mobile workforce operations, is delighted to announce that its suite of sophisticated fleet management solutions will form a crucial element of Ford’s new in-cab connectivity offering, Crew Chief, part of Ford Work Solutions.

Crew Chief is a unique industry-first offering with fleet management and vehicle tracking applications included as factory installed options. Crew Chief is available on 2009 model year E-Series vans, F-Series pickup trucks and Chassis Cabs. This includes the F-150 pickup – America’s bestselling vehicle for 26 years in a row. It will also be available as an after-sale option in some older model trucks.

Microlise’s user-friendly interface, presented via the same in-dash screen used for satellite navigation and entertainment, is simple and intuitive, which ensures that no specialised training is needed. The solution is fully scalable with four different levels of implementation covering applications from tracking through to advanced driver and fleet performance management.

The base (data only) and standard (data and map client) levels will be available with the 2009 E-Series and F-Series launch with intermediate (driver hours and task management) and advanced (full Microlise suite) levels ready for implementation in the near future. This means that every company from a two truck operation to the largest fleet operator is able to take full advantage of this sophisticated technology and associated benefits.

Working with partners Magneti Marelli and Sprint, providing hardware and high speed internet access respectively, Crew Chief powered by Microlise technology is the only in-vehicle system with access to Ford’s CANbus data. This enables the Crew Chief offering to give full visibility not only of the vehicle’s location, but also across every aspect of both the driver’s and vehicle’s performance. Sophisticated telematics data transmitted from the vehicle is immediately available to managers, either back at base or on the road. This aids more efficient scheduling, route planning and job allocation, as well as highlighting areas where, for example, driver performance and techniques can be improved to help cut fuel consumption, especially important in the current climate of rapidly escalating fuel costs.

Paul Russell, Ford Work Solutions Marketing Manager commented, ‘We believe that Crew Chief is the next step forward in manufacturer offered telematics and fleet management solutions. Our customers had a business need for a factory installed, intuitive fleet management tool.’

Nadeem Raza, managing director at Microlise, said ‘This deal has really allowed us to accelerate our product roadmap, helping to refine and develop our offering which will have very obvious benefits to our existing and future customer base. With 25 years experience as both a developer and manufacturer in this space, we are obviously excited to be involved in a product that is going to set the standards and expectations for the entire industry.’