SPOT Gen3 ensures Carta Rallye participants don't get lost in Morocco's sand dunes

At the end of March 2017, 75 off-road vehicles will assemble in Oudja, Morocco for the annual Carta Rallye. Ensuring the safety of all participants, each 4x4, side by side vehicle (SSV) and truck involved in the 2,000-mile event will be equipped with a Globalstar SPOT Gen3 GPS messenger for satellite tracking and emergencies.

There are three categories in the race: GPS Challenge, Cross Country and Discovery.  Competitors in the GPS Challenge have to reach a number of GPS checkpoints every day covering the shortest possible distance, while those in the Cross Country race use road maps and GPS navigation to race each other. The Discovery participants follow the races.

“We chose to use SPOT for tracking and emergency rescue since our first race because it was recommended by experts as the best device available. That’s still true today and drivers now expect to have a SPOT device as standard because they trust it implicitly,” said Chris Armelin, Carta Rallye Race Director.

“We have fortunately never had a serious medical emergency but we have received SOS alerts from participants suffering heat exhaustion for example. The SPOT Gen3 has been instrumental in delivering help speedily when vehicles get stuck on sand dunes. It was used to call out the recovery truck 10 times during last year’s rally,” he added.

Each SPOT Gen3 device is specially programmed with one button that sends an alert with GPS coordinates to Race Control to alert the medical team and another button that sends a message to the recovery team. The medical and recovery teams also have 10 SPOT Gen3s of their own, allowing Race Control to always keep track of their locations.

The SPOT Gen3 devices, supplied by Globalstar partner WAA, are either mounted on the dashboard of a car or truck, or attached to the external roll cage on a buggy. Each device transmits the GPS location of the vehicle every five minutes. The rally organisers use a combination of their own bespoke interface and Geotraq’s web app to take the tracking data from the SPOT Gen3 devices and update each vehicle’s location on the Carta Rallye Facebook page.