Las Vegas. After two years of work on the part of some 200 people, XRS Corporation (formerly Xata) officially launched its new mobile platform today. The XRS product is now available for sale, with shipment scheduled to begin during the second quarter of the calendar year.  The new solution has been available to a limited number of customers since January 2013.

XRS chose the 75th annual Truckload Carriers Association conference being held here this week for the new platform’s public debut. “The possibilities are endless now,” Christian Schenk, senior vice president of product and market strategy for XRS, told Fleet Owner.

The new, cloud-based XRS mobile platform runs on more than 50 types of devices (XRS has partnership agreements with the leading brands in mobile communications in both the U.S. and Canada). It automatically transmits vehicle and operator data directly to a management dashboard, preparing for compliance with the pending MAP-21 compliance mandate for recording hours-of-service. According to the company, nearly 90 percent of drivers already use mobile devices, in which case there need not be additional hardware costs associated with deploying the XRS platform.

“I don’t see a whole lot more capital flowing into the trucking industry, at least not any time soon,” Schenk observed. “If carriers have to make a choice between necessary new equipment and new technology, it will be equipment. [That it one reason why we wanted to bring more features to market at a lower cost.]" Monthly pricing for the XRS mobile fleet optimization platform is $39 per subscription.

“The big difference for us with this product is that it brings all systems together on one platform,” he added. “It is more scalable and more self-evident to use.

“Our industry is only starting to talk about the impact of mobile applications on fleets and drivers, but we are leading and shaping this trend that will benefit fleets and drivers because we’ve already built a wireless infrastructure to support XRS,” said Schenk. “The mobile revolution is accelerating at breakneck speed, with federally mandated EOBR rules making electronic logs the law of the land. XRS offers fleet owners the lowest cost of entry and most robust performance of any other software available today.”

The new XRS mobile communications solution combines the features and benefits of the leading fleet management platforms into a single package, he noted. Additionally, XRS is working with technology partners – including TMW Systems, McLeod Software, BOLT, ProfitTools and RoadNet Technologies– to ensure seamless compatibility and full functionality with the new XRS mobile platform.

According to XRS, set-up time is minimal – drivers can be ready to use XRS after only a few minutes of training ­ ­– and return-on-investment is “immediate” because of reduced fuel consumption, improved driver awareness and better vehicle utilization. “We believe drivers are just going to want to use our system,” Schenk told Fleet Owner.

XRS customers are also expected to see immediate improvements in the speed of data delivery, instantaneous safety and compliance alerts and real-time command of vehicle and driver performance measures, such as speed, fuel economy, idle, braking, clutch use, fault codes and other variables.

Additional features and benefits XRS lists include: an open platform, built to partner with existing applications on multiple carriers; a truly “plug and play” solution; easy, intuitive and seamless compliance for both drivers and fleet managers; simplified fleet optimization tools, with seamless, automated reporting of fleet performance indicators, including fuel consumption, hard braking, shift patterns, idling, PTO usage and trip reporting; plus automated fuel-tax reporting, made even easier with a “Print-Sign-Send” service that is excusive to XRS.

The new platform also offers a series of integrated dispatching functions, such as order planning, electronic dispatching and order status updating.

“The future of trucking compliance, fleet efficiency and road science is portability and convenience – the mobile phone or tablet that goes where the driver goes,” said Jay Coughlan, chairman and chief executive officer of XRS. “We have a legacy of experience with our pioneering first-generation mobile tool ­– Turnpike – and we are building on that heritage with our new XRS mobile fleet optimization technology.”

Existing Turnpike customers will begin the transition to the new XRS mobile solution on a scheduled basis, facilitated by XRS customer care representatives.