Background & challenge
Over the past decade, a surge in rally sport competition has resulted in greater incidences of injury, fatalities, and property damage. In an attempt to mitigate these risks, regulators and rally industry representatives are taking steps to rewrite many of the procedures, requirements, and rules currently on the books. This includes firming up team and vehicle licensing requirements, mandating the use of specialised safety equipment, and requiring the latest integrated in-vehicle GPS and communication technologies.
These risks may be attributable to the following factors:
- Increasingly remote venues that are far from city emergency support services
- Competition involving more challenging terrains and under harsher conditions
- Higher density rallies with more competitors, spectators, and event support staff
- Faster vehicles that are pushing the limits of speed, distance, and endurance
- More rallies in more places worldwide than ever before
Due to the technological limitations of legacy 2G cellular networks, reliable connected- vehicle communications solutions were traditionally unrealistic. In the absence of pervasive high-speed cellular or modern vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connectivity, organisers were forced to use high-cost, proprietary GPS-based satellite services or fall back to legacy short-range radio-frequency (RF) communications.
RallySafe realised early on that legacy, short-range radio frequency (RF) was ill-equipped to handle the expanding needs of rally sports. This technology could not handle challenging terrains or unpredictable weather conditions and did not appreciably decrease vehicle collisions. Reliance on RF communications left event organisers and officials largely in the dark, and large numbers of marshals and volunteers were needed to relay accurate information from the course back to race control.