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Ford data shows best places for new rapid charging points

Ford has developed a new algorithm that identifies the optimum places to install future rapid charging points.

The analysis has been published ahead of the arrival of the plug-in Transit Custom van and Tourneo Custom people carrier

The carmaker’s data scientists have developed an algorithm, based on more than one million kilometres of driving data and including where vehicles actually stopped, to pinpoint the places that could help drivers integrate charging within their operating patterns, rather than making special journeys to out-of-the way locations.

As part of its Ford City Data Solutions Report, published in December 2018, Ford fitted 160 connected vans with a simple plug-in device to record journey data. The research generated more than 500 million data points which has now been used to identify where charging points would be most useful to a fleet. Although the vehicles in the trial were not electric, it was possible to understand their operation and forecast their ability to access charge points as if they were.

The data could be used to identify ways in which charging could be integrated within regular journeys, especially for businesses whose drivers might make multiple stops, for example, to make deliveries. The approach could be rolled out to further cities.

“Being able to harness, analyse and leverage the huge amounts of data that is available through existing vehicle use can make a real difference to how easy we find it to get about in the cities of the future,” said John Scott, project lead, City Data Solutions, Ford Mobility. “We at Ford are committed to delivering smart vehicles for a smart world – including electric vehicles that will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities. But we also want to try to use data to help improve investment efficiency into the necessary infrastructure to support that approach.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.