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Big Brother Goes Onboard with the Volvo Ocean Race

by Lizzie Green on 14 Nov 2000
The Swedish telematics company Pilotfish has been officially appointed to supply all the boats competing in the Volvo Ocean Race with highly sophisticated race monitoring equipment.

Pilotfish will supply all boats in the Volvo Ocean Race with specially designed race monitoring equipment. The special kit, a marine wireless gateway, will be used to receive information from onboard sensors, process the information and then transmit the data via Inmarsat C to the Race Headquarters. The gateway will be connected to numerous onboard sensors, which will monitor the boats' performance showing boat speed, wind speed and direction, as well as collecting information such as water colour, for an environmental survey. The system is currently being designed and once the race begins, people will be able to follow the hard life onboard the world's premier offshore racers on the race website www.VolvoOceanRace.org.

Helge Alten, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race, commented, 'We want to make this the most exciting experience ever for our audience with features and possibilities that have never been seen before. Since Pilotfish have the know-how and the best solutions on the market to meet our requirements, they were the obvious choice for us.'

With this new technology the boats will be able to send information to the Race Headquarters by satellite every 10 minutes, depending on the nature of the data, and provide a full picture of conditions onboard the boat. The equipment will be tested throughout the Sydney-Hobart race to be fully reliable when the Volvo Ocean Race starts in September 2001.

'With our technology on every V.O.60 boat, the audience will almost feel as if they were onboard. Our appointment as official supplier to the world's premier offshore race acknowledges us as a leading edge telematics company, developing the communications services of tomorrow,' says Staffan Sandberg, C.E.O. Pilotfish.

Pilotfish is a leading supplier of telematic solutions based on mobile Internet technology and embedded systems. Applications range from wireless surveillance of leisure boats and other mobile assets like cars to industrial applications where remote monitoring and control of geographically widespread equipment is essential. For the marine market two new commercial service packages based upon the technology mentioned will be presented at METS in November 2000.

Pilotfish is jointly owned by the Volvo group, Swedish IT consultancy CR&T and Pythagoras, with headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden and offices in the UK.

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