Ford Motor Company has unveiled a a collection of technologies named Ford Work Solutions that will allow Ford Truck owners to have all tools needed to run a small office at the Chicago Auto Show 2008.

Ford Work Solutions features:
  • An in-dash computer developed with Magneti Marelli and powered by Microsoft Auto that provides full high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network and navigation by Garmin. This system allows customers to print invoices, check inventories and access documents stored on their home or office computer networks – right on the job site.
  • Tool Link, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system developed in partnership with DEWALT and ThingMagic that will enable customers to maintain a detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment stored in the pickup box.
  • Crew Chief, a fleet telematics and diagnostics system, to allow small fleet owners to manage their vehicles, dispatch workers to job sites and keep detailed vehicle maintenance records.
  • Cable Lock security system developed in partnership with Master Lock® to provide security.
The F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 31 years. Two out of every five commercial trucks sold in the U.S. wears a Ford oval.

All four Ford Work Solutions will be available this fall on the new 2009 Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT and FX4 trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and FX4 trucks; and all 2009 E-Series vans. Transit Connect vans join the lineup in mid-2009.

Several of the features will be also made available for dealer installation to upgrade Ford Trucks already in service.

An in-dash computer, developed with Magneti Marelli, transforms the new 2009 F-150 or F-Series Super Duty into true mobile offices, capable of linking into the business owner’s main office computer network or a home computer via a cellular broadband connection.

Users can access existing files on an office computer miles from the job site, open a word processing document, a spread sheet or their business accounting program, make updates and print them in the truck on an available Ford-certified, on-board, Bluetooth-enabled, battery-powered inkjet printer.

Powered by Microsoft Auto, the system provides high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network. It works with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, offering hands-free calling with push-to-talk voice recognition, access to user phonebooks and the ability to receive text messages.

The in-dash computer also includes navigation by Garmin, which comes standard with features like re-routing due to construction or traffic congestion and points of interest including local gas stations and their fuel prices, restaurants, Ford dealerships and Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers.

The computer is integrated into the vehicle’s center stack, filling the same space normally occupied by the standard radio. It is equipped with a 6.5-inch, high-resolution touch screen, two gigabytes of memory, a secure digital slot for additional memory, a USB port and includes a wireless keyboard and mouse. A stylus, stored next to the CD slot, is included for use on the touch screen.

Developed with DEWALT and ThingMagic, Tool Link offers owners the capability to mark and scan high-value tools, safety equipment, material inventories and other important assets using RFID tags. When the vehicle is running, a pair of RFID antennas, mounted in corrosion- and impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box for the items on a pre-programmed inventory list.

The data is transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools are not loaded on the truck.

Tool Link comes pre-loaded with several standard tool lists that are easily edited to reflect specific types of jobs. The system uses industry standard second-generation RFID tags that can be fastened to tools or other items and can read and catalogue hundreds of tools or assets in just seconds.

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