Ryder System, Inc. has formed a telematics partnership with Teletrac and Cingular Wireless to launch RydeSmart. According to Ryder, the technology will undergo a phased rollout to customers across North America through 2007.

RydeSmart is a compact hardware and software unit that is installed in the truck and connected to the vehicle’s existing computer and diagnostic systems. The unit communicates information on the vehicle’s location, mileage and speed every 15 minutes and on demand via a dedicated and secure connection through the Cingular network to the fleet operator’s desktop.

The system integrates Teletrac’s global positioning system (GPS), wireless data and hardware technologies with Cingular’s wireless data coverage area. Ryder has a fleet size of over 160,000 vehicles.

RydeSmart has already completed a pilot phase that included more than 5,000 vehicles to specific customers in various industries including food & beverage, textiles, and building and construction materials.

Ryder noted that benefits include the ability to view vehicle locations at all times, view driver routes and performance, continuous monitoring of vehicle data including automated transmittal of odometer readings to replace trip records for fuel tax and vehicle licensing regulatory compliance.

Integrated GPS capabilities also enable RydeSmart to help customers locate vehicles in emergency situations and provide central dispatch capabilities to enable customers to assign pickups and deliveries based on the closest available vehicles, noted Ryder.

“We have developed extensive intellectual capital and highly refined processes around maximizing the efficiency of our customers’ transportation functions,” said Tony Tegnelia, president of Ryder’s U.S. Fleet Management Solutions. “Since the 1980s , we have utilized onboard telematics to achieve high levels of transportation precision and tracking, primarily for customers whose high-value shipments necessitated a significant onboard technology investment.”

For more information, go to www.ryder.com