About a year ago I was over at BCIT for a Ford Asset Program open house. The head instructor, Eric Fry, talked about a new program he was introduced to the previous week down in the US by Ford and Microsoft which pairs Ford vehicles and an in-truck computer system. This new integrated system has several facets, but the most interesting ones for our readers are what they call the Tool Link module and the Crew Chief module.
The Tool Link module developed in partnership with Ford and DeWalt gives your Ford Pickup the ability to keep track of an inventory of tools in your box so two things can happen: your tools never get left behind, and you have the right tools in your box for pre-defined jobs. For example, you’d never want to leave the shop to do a plumbing job without a Milwaukee Hole Hog and heaven forbid you forgot your tackle box when you go to your “business conference” aka, fishing trip weekend with the boys.
The Crew Chief module lets a vehicle track a fleet (big or small) via GPS and a wireless modem for fuel efficiency, erratic driving and hard breaking; which increases vehicle maintenance costs and fuel efficiency, both of which affect a business’s bottom line. It will even track airbag deployment in the event of an accident and inform you by text message or email of what happened and the location.
Here is a promotional video that Ford and Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) put together to outline the technology. You can also check out this PDF of the system.