Two-year-old boy among the participants of this technology-driven, treasure-hunt style car rally
Singapore, 9 June 2007 – Some 100 drivers and their families had fun on wheels early this morning at the Heritage Drive™ organised by the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA). Held in conjunction with the Police Week Carnival at the Old Police Academy, the AA Heritage Drive™ 2007, themed “Fun On Wheels”, took participants to historic sites such as the Old Ford Motor Factory (now kn own as “Memories at Old Ford Factory”), former Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters, the old Thomson Road racing circuit, National Stadium, and the HSBC Office near Geylang Serai, which used to be a settlement for “Orang Laut” or sea people and native Malays.
This was the first time AA introduced Global Position ing System (GPS) navigation and wireless network technologies to the treasure-hunt style car rally, one of the Association’s landmark events, which was mooted back in 1961.
Mr Bernard Tay, President of AA said, “The AA Heritage Drive™ has been an AA trademark event and each time, we will try to instil a new concept or idea. With IT becoming an integral part of our lives, we have decided to go wireless this centennial year. Through this event, we want people to learn ab out Singapore’s rich heritage and adopt safe driving habits. With GPS navigation, driver s can focus their attention on the road and other road conditions, without having to wor ry about how to get to their destination or which is the shortest route to take. This adventure on wheels is about teamwork, strategies and quick wit, not speed. As an advo cate of road safety; AA always makes it a point to highlight and reinforce the importance of road safety and responsibility on the roads to the participants of our car rallies.”
Among the participants was 35-year-old, AA member, Mr Firos Osman who took part in the event with his wife, Madam Alina Bte Abdul Rashi d, and their three children – twin daughters Amirah and Shahirah, nine years old, and eight-year old son, Musaj.
Mdm Alina said, “This is the first time we are taking part in the AA Heritage Drive™. We are fascinated by the opportunity to drive around the i sland in search of different historical sites. It’s not a matter of how fast you can get to each checkpoint but whether you know where to go to in the first place. You need to have basic knowledge on Singapore’s history. In this sense, the AA Heritage Drive™ is also educational and provides good fun for the whole family.”
The advanced GPS navigation units featuring a simple t ouch-screen interface, guided participants to the intended destinations via coloured maps and audio supervision. Participants were loaned GPS navigation units three days before the event to familiarise themselves with the device. At the end of the event, participants were given the option to purchase the GPS navigation unit at a very special p rice. The GPS navigation units were provided by TiBO GPS Elecom Marketing Pte Ltd.
The youngest participant of the event was two-year old, Lim Wei Chiat. His father, Mr Lim Sen Lee, 40, said, “We think the event will be enjoyable and suitable for families especially those with young children and decided to bring Wei Chiat along. ‘Learning’ can start at a very young age. They can get to know the lesser-known heritage sites in Singapore. We also got to ‘play’ with the GPS and W i-Fi enabled mobile devices provided. Throughout the event, we were reminded to observe the road safety rules and asked questions relating to road safety. It was like taking the Highway Code again. This is good as it refreshes our memory for some of us could have forgotten the rules, which are vital for safe driving.”
At the five checkpoints, participants were tested on their knowledge of motoring and Singapore’s heritage with challenges like parallel pa rking, completing jigsaw puzzles within the shortest time, and remote-controlled car racing. The winning car team walked away with one TiBO GPS navigation unit and $1,500 in cash. A total of more than $15,000 worth of prizes were given away. Each car also received a goodie bag worth some $120.
Mr Wan Fook Kong, Chairman of AA’s Auto-Venture Sub- Committee that put together this year’s AA Heritage Drive™ said, “Since the very first motor rally that AA organised in 1907, the AA Heritage Drive has grown from strength t o strength through the years. Today, it has become a landmark event of AA, aimed at pr omoting courteous and safe driving to the participants, while they engage in a fun, historical trail on wheels. As one of the oldest associations in Singapore, AA hopes to pla y a part in educating the younger generations on Singapore’s rich heritage, since the Association with its 100- year history forms a major part of the Singapore heri tage.”
Participants of the AA Heritage Drive™ and visitors to the Police Week Carnival were also treated to a jaw dropping performance by professional drifters from Japan. The drifters performed revolution drift stunts similar to those seen in the movies “Initial D” and “Too Fast, Too Furious”.
Following the AA Centennial Heritage Drive™, AA will be bringing its members and friends in a 100-car Auto-Venture TM up to Genting Highlands from 1 to 3 September, at a very attractive rate of only $100 per person. As part of its centennial calendar, AA will also be holding an AA Members’ Dinner cum AA Centennial Membership Grand Draw on 6 October. AA will round up its year of anniversary celebrations with the AA Centennial Charity Gala Dinner on 16 November with President SR Nathan as the Guest-of-Honour.