Ford and The AA Team Up: Upfit Integration System Boosts Efficiency and Safety

Ford Transit Custom AA van

In April 2023, The AA began an extended trial using an all-new Transit Custom equipped with UIS. The system seamlessly integrates control of specialist tools and equipment into the van’s factory-fitted human machine interface (HMI), enabling patrols to activate via the 13-inch central touchscreen everything from LED hazard beacons to breakdown diagnostics, jump-start connection points and towing equipment. Ford engineers have designed a system that integrates seamlessly into commercial vehicles, known as the Upfit Integration System. The UIS was created to be a productivity booster, and the results are clear -  as can be seen in the trial with The AA which has proven its effectiveness.

The AA used to rely on equipment from a staggering 11 different suppliers to make their fleet of vans worthy of completing the repair and recovery work carried out by members of The AA team. UIS drastically reduces that number, streamlining their operations and saving them money on administration alone.

UIS eliminates the clutter of additional screens, switches, and mounting brackets. No more drilling holes in the van's interior or having additional work completed. This creates a cleaner, more professional environment for both AA technicians and their customers. AA vans often transport customers alongside their vehicles, and a tidy, organised cabin makes a much better first impression. Safety is paramount for The AA, especially when working on busy motorways.  Exiting the van safely often means using the passenger door on the curb side, and having a clutter-free cabin makes this easier.

Ford Pro's Special Vehicles team also went the extra mile to ensure The AA's specific safety and compliance needs were met when installing the UIS into the vans.

The trial van showcased Ford’s innovative SYNC integration module. This allows The AA to connect their existing third-party touchscreen display (used for parts information) to the Transit Custom's SYNC screen. Now, technicians can easily access this system from the driver's seat.

Reduced conversion costs and simplified maintenance were additional benefits The AA highlighted, particularly with the added benefit of Ford's warranty coverage.

Ford’s collaboration with The AA has been a resounding success.  It's been a valuable learning experience for both parties, and Ford are thrilled to announce that The AA has ordered over 700 new Transit Custom vans equipped with UIS. This will allow them to continue delivering exceptional service to their millions of members across the UK.



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