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Safari Rally organizers launch new online live map tracking system | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Lone driver races through the Rift Valley on the lake Elementaita circuit during an East African Safari Rally, one of the world's toughest and oldest rallies. XINHUA PHOTO - XU SUHUI

Safari Rally organizers launch new online live map tracking system

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Organizers of the 2017 Safari Rally edition, which started on Friday Morning, have launched an online live tracking map to enable Motor fans to be able to follow the event online as well as enhance individual drivers’ safety.

The launch is the latest move by the company to upgrade Kenya’s motor rallies with cutting edge technology.

"The digital technology is intended to move the rally to international standards and enable one to track every vehicle throughout the race. It was the natural step to create a map that allows fans to follow the rally across the entire course," Paul Statham, Chief Commercial Officer of Liquid Telecom Kenya, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Liquid Telecom Kenya has so far invested millions of shillings in new technology for the Kenyan motor rally series, with the aim of upgrading Kenyan rallies to international standards of safety and precision set by the Federation Internationale de I’ Automobile (FIA), and strengthen Kenya’s bid for the Safari Rally to be reinstated in the World Rallying Championship (WRC) by 2019.

The Safari Rally was first run as a WRC round in 1973, but was dropped from the world championships in 2002, and has since been run as a domestic Kenyan event.

For nearly 30 years, it was one of the world championship’s most important rallies.

"The move to live tracking is the most advanced technology that we have added to the event and in the process putting the rally ahead of many other world championship rallies," Statham said.

The technology has been used in several rallies in Northern Africa, in Tunisia and Morocco, while many rallies and cross-country rallies in Europe rely on the system, which is also used to support driver safety.

The tracking map is powered by transponders in every driver’s car that sends tracking signals to central units.

Statham said the latest step commissioned and implemented software for the rally course map that is visible, transparent and available to motor fans and rally’s organizers, participating teams, and emergency services.

The mapping means speedier location and rescue of any driver who gets into trouble.

The live tracking displays every vehicle taking part in the rally with its rally number and offers a window with information on the driver, co-driver, type of vehicle, GPS position and latest time stamp.

The map for the Safari Rally went live at 8am on Friday as the rally began.



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