Creating Value Through Services

Mike Plasencia, Group Director, RyderVentures & New Product Strategy at Ryder System, Inc. joined Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss how Ryder creates value through services for customers and partners.

The conversation begins with Mike discussing how Ryder became the central nervous system for autonomous trucking. Ryder noticed the trend of autonomy early and embraced the trend by investing and preparing the company for the future. The company has an 89 year history dating back to 1933 of being forward-thinking and innovative in ways it approaches business opportunities.

As technology has continued to bring efficiency to the market, it has also brought challenges. That’s the name of our game and so over the next 50 years as technology continues to develop and business models change, we want to be that partner that customers can outsource to. We may look very different in the next 50 years, but ultimately our core task of solving difficult problems for our customers is still going to be our mantra.

– Mike Plasencia

As Ryder builds out their autonomous trucking portfolio, the company has partnered with Embark, TuSimple, Waymo and Gatik to assist them with scaling their autonomous operations. Mike goes onto discusses why Ryder is focused on partnering with autonomous trucking companies and not building out their own solution.

You will never see us building the truck, you will never see us coding the driver.

– Mike Plasencia

While Ryder might not build the truck or code the driver, they will however invest in the technology. As part of Gatik’s Series B round, RyderVentures invested in the company. It’s not just autonomy that RyderVentures is investing in, the fund is looking into investing opportunity in asset sharing, ecommerce, warehouse automation, big data and next generation vehicles.

We try to be on the forefront of every new technology related to vehicles for our customers.

– Mike Plasencia

Ryder’s core advantage is that the company can provide services that unlock value for their customers and partners. Ryder’s partnership with Waymo is focused on being the company’s maintenance partner.

[Waymo] can focus on being what they are really good at as a technology company, and we can focus on what we are really good at, maintaining vehicles.

– Mike Plasencia

Ryder is clearly focused on the providing value to the autonomous trucking ecosystem as on the company’s Q3 2021 earnings call, Mr. Robert Sanchez, Chairman & CEO of Ryder highlighted the company’s strategic alliances with several autonomous trucking companies.

As the logistics industry grows with the introduction of new technologies, Grayson asks Mike how he sees the future of logistics evolving as more autonomous trucks come online.

Optimization starts to take a big front-row seat.

– Mike Plasencia

Wrapping up the conversation, Mike discusses the data-driven study that Ryder commissioned in partnership with Georgia Tech and what they learned.

Follow The Road To Autonomy on Apple Podcasts

Recorded on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.