OFSC Safeguards Trail Data to Protect Trails, Groomer Operators, Riders & Landowners
Earlier this week, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) announced the release of a new navigation app for its 2021 Ski-Doo snowmobiles named BRP GO!, which has caused some confusion among Ontario snowmobilers. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) would like to clarify this concern.
During a sales conference in February of 2020, BRP indicated that BRP GO! would contain OFSC trail data. At the time, BRP and the OFSC did not have an agreement to share trail data.
Since spring, the OFSC and BRP have engaged in ongoing dialogue regarding opportunities to incorporate OFSC snowmobile trail data in BRP's new app.
The OFSC has had similar, but as yet unresolved discussions with Polaris over the authorized use of Ontario trail data on its Ride Command App.
Although discussions with BRP have been productive, the OFSC has not been able to come to an agreement that would enable BRP to move ahead this season. The principal issue is that technological barriers associated with BRP GO! fail to address safety and risk management concerns particular to Ontario snowmobile trails regarding the presentation of real-time trail data and information – a serious shortcoming identified by the OFSC for the protection of its trails, groomer operators, riders and landowners.
Of note, the OFSC did offer BRP and other OEMs the opportunity to display the OFSC Go Snowmobiling Ontario app on their devices, which was refused. As a result, the OFSC declined the opportunity to share our data to BRP for this season but committed to continue to work with BRP to find a solution for next year.
The OFSC understands that technology, snowmobilers and connectivity are progressing at a rapid pace and we encourage this development for the benefit of everyone involved in the industry. We remain hopeful that in time, BRP may be able to find a solution to their issues and ensure the consistent and timely delivery of authorized Ontario trail data and information.
It is essential for rider safety and land use securement that trail changes appear on these apps in real-time. This capability is especially important for the coming winter, given the high potential for Flex Trail changes in some public health regions.
For over 15 years, the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide (ITG) has been the sole source for snowmobile trail availability information in the province. Ontario snowmobilers are accustomed to viewing the ITG for accurate trail updates and safety information.
The OFSC is committed to ensuring that the distribution of ITG data through all websites or apps remains consistent.
The OFSC wants to reassure Ontario snowmobilers of our continuing intention to seek resolution to the data sharing issue, provided that all concerns are successfully addressed.
For the only accurate and complete trail data authorized for this season, the OFSC invites snowmobilers to download the Go Snowmobiling Ontario App Free or PRO version in Android or iOS, available December 1st.
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.
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