NTT reveals new data boost to improve IndyCar fan experience
Using data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and “digital twin” capabilities, gathered from previous seasons and the first five races of the 2022 season, NTT will provide more detailed, real-time and predictive.
NTT will provide data-driven predictions, ranging from the best overtaking opportunities to how refueling and fueling strategies will play out during a race. IndyCar fans will be able to access this predictive analytics for the entire season by following the series’ social media channels, where information will be posted during races. Additionally, NTT will continue to provide this information and analysis to the NBC production team with plans underway for broadcast inclusion as the season progresses.
Information will include race strategies and predictions, interceptions and battles for position, the performance impact of pit stops and the effects of fuel levels and tire wear.
To do this, NTT creates a digital twin for each car. A digital twin uses historical data as the basis for mirroring a physical object, such as a car. Each car has over 140 sensors collecting millions of data points during the race, which are fed into the digital twin to produce predictions based on historical performance and real-time conditions.
As the longest race of the season, the Indy 500 will provide more data than any other race, with over eight billion data points collected. This should allow NTT to predict race strategy with a high level of accuracy using AI and predictive analytics.
“Fans are the lifeblood of our series,” said Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles. “IndyCar will continue to invest in the amazing technology that brings fans closer to the action and we have a great partner with NTT. They are constantly coming up with new innovations to help us engage a global audience. Last year we have seen fan engagement increase at an unprecedented rate. We hope to continue on this trajectory with the help of NTT.
Eric Clark, chief digital officer of NTT DATA Services, told Motorsport.com that IndyCar teams’ desire for secrecy to avoid revealing anything to their rivals hasn’t proven to be an obstacle.
“There’s definitely a lot of data that teams want to keep to themselves. They want to keep it as competitive data. But with 140 sensors on these cars and over eight billion data points generated in the Indy 500, and then you add in the billions of data points that we can analyze from past races and past seasons, from the data and analysis point of view, we want to analyze this data and determine what we can predict and how to make the race more interesting.
“So our approach was, ‘Let’s use the app to put the data in front of the fans so that die-hard fans can look at the data and make their own predictions and new fans can look at the predictions that we make. We’re making them available not only on the app, but also on social media, and NBC is starting to use them on broadcast channels as well.
This complexity of producing and delivering this data in an understandable form has been made possible through the use of a program called NTT Smart Platform.
“We use the smart platform to run data analytics for our clients,” Clark said. “This is something we not only have the ability to do, but it gives us the opportunity to take our customers to the track and show them how we use the Smart Platform to analyze NTT IndyCar Series data. , and we’re able to make comparisons to how they can do that in their industry. For example, how can we use data from their manufacturing plant to predict maintenance schedules?”
Clark says he’s pleased that the message is getting out to fans about how much information they can get from the NTT app.
“It’s funny, sometimes you’ll see the drivers on test days looking at the app between their sessions,” he said. “They are sponges: they want to get all the data they can get.
“And we continue to get more and more downloads of the NTT app, and we see its use while racing. For many fans, it’s become a mandatory second screen, whether they’re on the track or they watch from home, there is real-time information throughout the race.
NTT to Improve Fan Experience at Speedway
Photo by: Scott R LePage / Motorsport pictures
NTT also announced today that it has used smart solutions to transform Indianapolis Motor Speedway into a “Smart Place” to improve the visitor experience for attendees and employees.
Operations and security teams have improved visibility into current and possible scenarios through digital twin technology, as well as AI-enabled optical sensing providing a real-time view of the site, including the flow and congestion of visitor and vehicular traffic. This allows organizers to optimize resources in real time and make faster, data-driven decisions.
NTT’s smart solutions will also benefit fans through the IMS mobile app, which updates forecasts of entrance waiting times and peak traffic areas every 30 seconds to allow fans to better plan their entry to the site.
NTT’s smart solutions have applications in multiple industries, such as public sector, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, and were originally designed to improve public safety in the city of Las Vegas in 2018.
Since then, they’ve also adapted to track usage and occupancy in parks and beyond and with implementations by other customers across multiple industries – including universities, airports and transportation agencies in common for traffic and operations, passenger safety, voyage planning and beyond.
Peter Cutts, Director of Consulting and Innovation at NTT Ltd., said, “NTT delivers co-innovation with our customers every day and the work we are doing with IndyCar is a perfect example of this. The interconnected digital backbone and platform developed by NTT for IndyCar leverages new and emerging technologies that allow IndyCar to push the boundaries by reaching new audiences and changing the way fans engage in the sport.
NTT in IndyCar – from passion project to title sponsor and technology partner
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport pictures
Margo Cooke, vice president of brand services, event marketing and sponsorships for NTT Data Services, told Motorsport.com that the company’s partnership with IndyCar evolved from what was initially a “passion project”. when he joined Chip Ganassi Racing in 2013, and came on board as a full sponsor of Ryan Briscoe’s CGR entry in 2014.
“You can deliberately get into a sport saying, ‘Hey, there’s a great tech plan, we’re going to get into it,’ but NTT really got into the sport thanks to an NTT executive who grew up watching cons -the-watch at the Indy 500! It really kickstarted our entry into the sport. And we always looked at that as something that would be an opportunity to do some really unique experiences for our customers because as a company business-to-business, our ability to do really cool, high-impact things with a small group of good people is hugely leveraged in our marketing programs.
“So from there it evolved into a ‘Hey, look at how we can turn a partnership that started at the team level into a technology partnership with the show. Ganassi’s Doug Duchardt introduced us to Jay Frye [IndyCar president]the day after born rider first [Scott Dixon documentary] and very quickly we realized that we could take what’s happening at the team level and bring a whole new perspective to it.
“Marketing-wise, we see it from a number of different angles. NTT is a company that, for all intents and purposes, has a monopoly in Asia – it doesn’t need to market. Everyone knows NTT as an established brand and It has acquired many companies to develop its international presence, in Europe and in the United States, so we define ourselves in this market and motorsport has been a very good inflection point to take the capacities of the whole family of NTT companies, bringing them together and bringing them to the sport.
“Every customer we serve, regardless of industry, has technology-enabled initiatives that help make their customer experience more impactful or their operations more efficient. If you think about what we do with sports, fan engagement is customer experience – it’s the same thing, just a different context. “We’re not a consumer brand, so we’re not doing what Verizon did: you can’t buy NTT from us. But our ability to tell the stories of technology, that’s the secret sauce for us, that’s where the investment proves itself.
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