Fleet Tracking Tool Watches Fuel Economy, Driver Behavior

By Ford Social Member

You might think this technology we're about to tell you about sounds a bit futuristic, but it's in existence right now and is a pretty awesome example of advancements being made in the wars on fuel economy and making roads safer. A system called Ford Crew Chief™ is the only fleet management tool capable of accessing Ford proprietary data contained within a vehicle’s computers. We’re talking about where a vehicle is, diagnostics and driver behavior.

Now, why is that important to a fleet company? Ford developed this because of commercial customer demand for a way to allow fleet managers to monitor the location of the trucks in its fleets. Crew Chief powered by Telogis accesses key elements such as the status of oil life, CO2 emissions, safety belt, tire pressure, airbag, if a vehicle is starting and stopping harshly, if it is being used outside of business operating hours, whether it’s outside of designated areas or there’s excess idling and speeding. The power in this awareness is leading to more efficient and safer fleet operation.

And with the new Crew Chief, additional driver behavior information is offered to fleet managers, including "speed against posted speed limits." The Department of Energy details that fuel economy is reduced by 1 percent for every mile per hour above 55 mph. With more detailed speed data, Crew Chief users can further improve vehicle efficiency.

Case in point: Milwaukee-based Joy Global Inc., a company that manufactures, services and sells surface and below-ground mining equipment, has improved fleet fuel economy by 10 percent for part of its 800-vehicle fleet through efforts to cut costs that include using Crew Chief. Michael Butsch, Director of Fleet Operations for the company, said he expects the amount of fuel used by his fleet to drop by 80,000 gallons in 2011 due in part to cost cutting measures that include the use of Crew Chief.

Considering the U.S. average of $3.79 per gallon of gas on May 31, it’s easy to see how the savings add up quickly. In real-world use, fleet companies are reporting fuel savings between 10-20 percent, thanks to better management of diagnostics, location and driver behavior.

A reason vehicle location is a big deal is because fleet managers can watch from a remote location as fleet vehicles travel from stop to stop. One fleet manager using Crew Chief found a fleet vehicle being used to run a side delivery business during regular business hours.

Crew Chief equipment is mounted under the dash and out of sight, and can be factory- or dealer-installed. Once installed, it automatically engages every time the vehicle is used; no driver interaction is required. Data is collected, transmitted wirelessly and displayed on a simple-to-use, Web-based interface accessible only to the fleet manager.

However, fleet managers don’t have to stare at the website all the live long day for this to be an useful tool. Reports can be generated and emailed at a specific time, say, once a day, week or even before a monthly operating review. Crew Chief also can be set up to send email alerts for actions such as airbag deployment, a driver not wearing a safety belt or excessive speeding. If a pattern of behavior is discovered that could be detrimental to the vehicle and its operation, fleet managers are then able to give drivers specific training to address the issue.

Crew Chief is available for the F-150, Super Duty, E-Series vans and the Transit Connect. It also is being tested on Escape and Fusion. It comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty when fitted at the factory and can be serviced at any Ford dealership. The Crew Chief hardware can be retrofitted to older Ford vehicles and to non-Ford vehicles as well. To see Crew Chief in action, visit http://crewchief.telogis.com/how-it-works/ .
Charlee Thompson 02/15/2012
I think this is a great idea. I was looking at networkcar.com for the same thing but if ford is going to offer it there is no reason to go somewhere else. As for Craig's comments, I do understand your view on this however, If it is my car and I'm buying the gas for it, and I'm paying someone to take it from one place to another I want to make sure that i'm getting what I'm paying for. I want to know if someone is using my car to move a friend to a new house or if someone is going fishing on my dime. In an office you can poke your head out and take a look at what your people are doing, there is no reason not to do the same thing when the road is the office.
T Craig-P71CV 09/12/2011
Ok I guess Ford didn't like my last comment on this Crew Chief thing, so I'll re-write it. I personally don't like technology that tracks a person's movement. Whether it's corporate or personal no one has the right to watch what other people are doing in their vehicles or where they are going. This is just another "big brother" technology that is invading someone's privacy. Now if a driver is doing a couple of miles over the speed limit or not wearing a seat belt let the police deal with it and not the employer. The artilce mentions that, "If a pattern of behavior is discovered that could be detrimental to the vehicle and it's operation, fleet managers are then able to give drivers specific training to address the issue" In other words "YOUR FIRED!" I do agree that businesses have the right to make sure their emploees are taking care of their vehicles and not driving wrecklessly or abusing them, but to track thier every move? come on now, get real. Before anyone jumps on me about this, no I am not a delivery driver, I do not work in the livery business, I just don't like people tracking the movements of other people. In other words I don't like big brother police states.
Jamie At Ford 06/09/2011
Hey Travis,
As new technology becomes available, Ford looks for the latest and most useful ways to make it more beneficial for customers in each of the new model vehicles. Thanks for your appreciation and enthusiasm!

Ford Customer Service Division
Rob Fruth 06/09/2011
The employer can say how and when their phone system is used, this is more of the same, good work Ford !
Jeremy 06/09/2011
@Lucas, Cell phone companies tracking you is one thing ( I dont agree with it) but haveing some jerk directly "looking" over my shoulder all the time to see if i fastened my damn seatbelt is not appealing to me. And before I hear the "If you act right, you shouldn't care" crap, If your manager can monitor you who else can? Ford, the government, etc? I hear a toilet full of some more of my liberties flushing as we speak.
Lex Drang 06/09/2011
thats a bit scary
Jeremy 06/09/2011
Oh boy! Thanks for making it easier for my boss to nag me! Thanks Ford! Good thing my company runs Chevys!
Jason Dodd 06/08/2011
when you think that 33% of a vehicle's fuel economy is determined by driver behavior then it makes sense to track it - good work Ford! hope to see it helping a lot of fleet businesses save
Alex Matthews 06/08/2011
I think this technology is great. Especially looking at it from the owners view. It will help reduce costs and hold less than perfect employees accountable for their actions. Go Ford!
Diane Wright 06/07/2011
I love Ford AND the EPA!
Rod Ruffcut 06/07/2011
to much BIG brother.
Chuck Brannen 06/07/2011
Lucas Mayhugh 06/07/2011
Just do a little research and you won't be ignorant anymore.
Lucas Mayhugh 06/07/2011
They can and do track your phone wherever you go so as to locate future sites for new cell towers. They can trace your phone back to where and when you bought it, and everywhere you bring your phone from then on. Anywhere.
Lucas Mayhugh 06/07/2011
Get over it you sissies, if you don't want it, DONT GET IT. It's that simple. This tech is also exclusive to fleet vehicles which is a great money saver and it has the potential to correct the occasional moron who bombs through residential areas at 20 mph over the limit. And another thing, raise your hand if you have an iPhone or something with android. Those companies have more details onyour whereabouts than any other company in the world... Just FYI...
Craig Brown 06/07/2011
So what's the big deal? If your not doing anything illegal or breaking company rules, there's nothing to worry about.
Bill Johnston 06/07/2011
@ Heather. I'm STILL waiting for an answer from Ford Motor Company.
Josh Haney 06/07/2011
Ford Built Tough To Last
Michael Auger 06/07/2011
Driving is a privilege not a right, so if u can't do it safely u shouldn't be driving anyways. Just my opinion. Im all for responsible driving and companies making sure their employees aren't abusing their vehicles.
Heather Heinert Grisso 06/07/2011
I don't think that would be legal Bill..
John Ehrle 06/07/2011
Been driving Ford company trucks for years with this device. Why is this news?
Bill Johnston 06/07/2011
@Ford Motor Company. Are you planning to place this device in private consumer vehicles?
Ellen Dix Wycuff 06/07/2011
why am I the only one singles out? others made simular comments?
Ford Motor Company 06/07/2011
@Ellen: It's not realistic to expect privacy when driving a vehicle that's owned by a company; this tracking mechanism is for fleet vehicles - say trucks that are owned by a construction firm, for example. -Scott, Global Digital Communications
Turco Yamin 06/07/2011
Son unos putos !!!
Ellen Dix Wycuff 06/07/2011
another way to invade our privacy!
Paul Langridge 06/07/2011
what we need is company director behavior tracker that will be the day
Tessa Peterson 06/07/2011
No way, I don't wanna be tracted
Dave Asselin 06/07/2011
control control control, pretty sad when you cant trust your own employees, Ford should get out of the spy business. im losing respect. watching fuel is one thing.
Brian Dorow 06/07/2011
Oh great!! Wonderful
Cody Hoag 06/07/2011
Big Brother at its best! Not a fan
James Rees 06/07/2011
i love fords they rock and roll
Fleet Tracking Tool Watches Fuel Economy, Driver Behavior
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