25 world-wide tests monitor every vehicle movement; Hewlett Packard partner in Blue Oval experiments
Tracking fleet vehicles and monitoring the daily driving habits of employees can reap good benefits for companies that have big fleets.
The information from such data can be used to better manage time and maintenance among a host of other business parameters.
No company knows this better than Ford.
Ford has partnered with Hewlett Packard to take such data-logging information gathering and vehicle data analysis to a new level.
They are simultaenously conducting 25 world-wide vehicle monitoring experiments to test new ideas and address growing transportation challenges – from parking to rural medical support.
One of those ongoing tests is here in the U.S. and it’s called the “Ford Fleet Insights Mobility Experiment.”
The goal is to collect data from 100 HP fleet vehicles across the US for a year to better understand driver behaviors such as where drivers stop for gas or get their oil changed, routing, speed, elapsed time and so forth, according to a Ford spokesman.
Most of the HP drivers of this initial study are members of the sales and service teams visiting customers, and each vehicle has a data-logging device plugged into the OBD-II port that feeds information to the cloud and back to Ford/HP where it’s analyzed.
Ford says these data-gathering experiments and understanding the purpose behind behaviors and trips provides a number of benefits to fleet managers.
Such data can be used by fleet managers to be creative, such as swapping vehicles for task based needs – trucks, cars, utility vehicles, or using available idle fleet vehicles when arriving at airport or company buildings.
There is also another aspect of such a data experiment: on the personal level where the associated natural link of driver behavior to marketing and advertising plays a role.
Ford says equipping a fleet of vehicles to collect and analyze behaviors, patterns, trips, and underlying data is a way to build “Mobility Profiles” to understand and deliver personal products.
For example, if the vehicle data shows the driver is prone to stopping at Starbucks, that driver’s phone or vehicle navigation system can show any coupons or specials as they near the location.
Analyzing individual verses aggregate data can also lead to better ways to delivering personal vs “one size fits all” products for your sport schedules, daycare drop offs, night classes, etc.
Such data can also be automatically programmed into the vehicle (and any device linked to it) to show/alert the driver with the cheapest gas along the normal daily drive route, or pop up specials as drive near stores you frequent – all based on the vehicle “learning” your driving habits.
Ford says it will share the early findings by the end of March.
Big Blue is watching.