Cutting-edge technology developed by Hull-based APD Communications is to be pushed to the limits during an internationally-renowned rally.
APD is backing East Yorkshire driver Becky Kirvan-Rodgers in her comeback race, Rally Yorkshire, with the company’s smart technology on board.
APD develops critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations across the UK, as well as transport and aviation operators nationally and internationally.
The company’s market-leading software protects the public and emergency services personnel and ensures the efficient, continuous operation of services vital to public safety and security.
One of the UK’s few women rally drivers, Becky will drive an M-Sport built 2.0 litre Fiesta ST, fitted with APD’s technology designed to monitor and improve drivers’ behaviour with regards to speed, braking and cornering. The fleet management and incident detection software, called Artemis, collects complex vehicle data, in order to reduce fleet costs, improve driver behaviour, track vehicles and provide evidential data should a crash happen.
Built specifically for the emergency services, Artemis is live in more than 10,000 vehicles, providing visibility for police cars and other emergency services vehicles the length and breadth of Britain.
Transmitting data back to the force, it also delivers invaluable vehicle and driver performance data, creating huge savings in fuel and maintenance costs, as well as multi-layered information in the event of a collision.
The technology has been created by APD’s 100-strong digital team based in Hull, who have developed Artemis and specifically XDR – an intelligent little black box which sits out of sight within the car. The XDR unit sends data back to operators for real-time viewing, showing the location of every vehicle to enable fast dispatch responses in critical emergency situations.
Rally Yorkshire on September 29-30 is based around the east coast town of Filey and will be Becky’s comeback race after a break of five years to have her two children.
Becky will test the APD kit to the extremes, racing at speeds reaching over 90mph through North Yorkshire forests, so invaluable data on acceleration, braking and revving can be recorded and analysed.
Becky said: “I’m super excited about this partnership with APD, which has enabled me to make my comeback in Rally Yorkshire.
“APD is a fantastic company to be associated with and their amazing technology is a great fit with my sport. It’s really smart technology and we plan to use it during testing, as well as take the data from the event itself.
“What we learn from testing might just help me to make small, but significant, changes, for example in my timing of braking at corners, that could give me an edge in the rally.
“I think APD will learn something from it as well. The system is obviously well tested in police vehicles, but never before in motorsport competition. With all the bumps, jumps and surface changes you get in rallying and the extremes of braking and accelerating, it really will be put through its paces!”
APD Marketing and Sales Manager Rhiannon Beeson said: “We’re delighted to support Becky as a talented local competitor and this is a really innovative and fun way to put our technology to the test.
“We get to try out the technology under extreme conditions and Becky gets the support from us to do what she loves doing, so it’s a real win-win.
“The XDR unit records acceleration, braking, cornering and revving, so what better way to test it out than in a rally car.
“The Artemis system and XDR black box have been operational in thousands of police vehicles over the past few years, delivering consistent performance even in high-speed pursuits and high-impact collisions. We’re excited to see the different types of data produced in a competitive rally environment.”
APD plans to take a group of customers to the Yorkshire Rally, where Becky will give them a unique insight into the challenges of the spectacular sport and they will see Becky and other competitors in action on the route.
Becky Kirvan Rallying (BKR) Team Manager and Becky’s husband, Tim Kirvan-Rodgers, said: “Rallying is an expensive sport so APD’s support has really helped us. It also promotes Becky and BKR Rallying within the sport.
“We’ll be working together with APD to ensure we both get what we want from the partnership, part of which is giving their clients an exclusive experience at the rally. They’ll meet Becky before the event and hear about the challenges facing the drivers. We’ll also be taking them around the course so they can view the action up close at key points.”