Hull company's cutting edge technology to be tested at internationally-renowned rally

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 18 Sep 2017

Cutting-edge technology developed by a Hull-based company will be pushed to the limits during an internationally-renowned rally.

APD Communications is backing East Yorkshire driver, Becky Kirvan-Rodgers, in her comeback race, Rally Yorkshire, with the company’s smart technology on board.

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.

She will test the kit to the extremes, racing at speeds of over 90mph through forests, so data on acceleration, braking and revving can be recorded and analysed.

APD Communications sponsored rally driver Becky Kirvan pictured with Rhiannon Beeson APD's Marketing Manager

Ms Kirvan-Rodgers, of Bridlington, said: “I’m super excited about this partnership with APD. 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.”

The technology she will be using is called Artemis. Built specifically for emergency services, it is live in more than 10,000 vehicles, providing visibility for police cars – one in two UK police forces employ APD technology – and other emergency vehicles throughout Britain.

Read more: More people in Hull are now working, new figures show

It is used to collect complex vehicle data, in order to reduce fleet costs, improve driver behaviour, track vehicles and provide evidential data should a crash happen.

The driver said: “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.”

It has also allowed her to make her comeback to rallying, an expensive sport, after a break of five years to have her two children.

Founded by two academics from the University of Hull, APD still has a 100-strong digital team based in its birthplace, but also operate internationally.

Becky Kirvan-Rodgers pictured with Rhiannon Beeson APD's Marketing Manager

APD Marketing and Sales Manager Rhiannon Beeson describes the relationship between the Inglemire Lane firm and Ms Kirvan Rodgers as a ‘win-win’ exchange.

She 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 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-seed pursuits and high-impact collisions. We’re excited to see the different types of data produced in a competitive rally environment.”

APD’s technology is used from ensuring the safe running of the London Underground, which uses the technology to track train locations and support control rooms across the 250-mile network, to powering mission-critical control rooms in Sweden, Ireland and Dubai Airport – the world’s busiest passenger airport.

The rally, which will take place on September 29 and 30, is based around the coastal town of Filey.

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