With FordLink Mobile Office, Ford truck fleet drivers can now take the office on the road. FordLink is a dealer-installed in-vehicle mobile computer that runs Windows XP Professional and is equipped with full Microsoft Office capabilities. The unit includes GPS satellite navigation software with audio and visually prompted turn-by-turn directions, WiFi connectivity, and broadband Internet access. Printing, order submission, and payment processing capabilities, are additional system features.
Introduced more than one year ago, FordLink utilizes the Azentek in-vehicle mobile computer system, designed for mounting and use in Ford vehicles equipped with a column shift, including F-Series trucks (2004-2007 models), Super Duty (1999-2007 models, with 2008-MY availability later in the model year), and E-Series vans (1999-2008 models), according to Cristi Brown, Ford’s E-Series marketing manager.
“This is a mobile computer — not a laptop — designed to operate in environments where commercial customers are located every day,” said Brown. “It’s not a PalmPilot that you drop and it never turns on again, or a laptop too big and bulky to work with in your vehicle. It was designed with all that functionality in mind, plus the ability to withstand being dropped or dragged in and out of the vehicle and to work sites.”
The Azentek mobile computer is a rugged, lightweight (2 lbs.), 8.4-inch touch-screen PC viewable in the sunlight. The unit can be mounted in front of the center console, allowing access for the driver or front-seat passenger while the vehicle is stationary. The mobile computer accepts all off-the-shelf software and standard USB peripheral devices, such as a printer, digital camera, DVD/MP3 player, or scanner.
FordLink is also Bluetooth-compatible. Standard FordLink equipment includes a keyboard, mouse, and carrying case. Once safely docked inside the vehicle, the mobile unit is connected to the audio system and GPS antenna and powered by the truck’s battery.
“The vehicles have all been crash-tested to ensure the unit is not located in the airbag’s deployment path,” said Brown.
All computer functions, except for the navigation screen, are locked out for safety while the vehicle is in motion. Each FordLink system by Azentek costs approximately $3,000 and comes with a 12-month warranty.
“We will have FordLink demonstrations available to large fleet customers at our Fleet Preview meeting this summer so they can gain exposure to the product,” said Brown.
Originally posted on Work Truck Online