Technology transformation at 200mph at the 2021 INDYCAR SERIES

by Simon Walsh

11 October 2021

Car racing at a high speed

Enhancing the racing experience through tech and data

You only need to spend a little time at an INDYCAR race to appreciate the complexity of modern motorsport. Not only are the race cars – which hit speeds of over 230mph – wonders of modern engineering, but almost every aspect of the INDYCAR SERIES has been transformed by technology.

As part of our ongoing relationship with INDYCAR, we’ve worked closely together to explore ways to use data to enhance both the fan experience and their operational efficiency. The INDYCAR Mobile Application allows fans unparalleled access to race day information, from listening to the radio communications between the drivers and their crew, to accessing real-time data during the race –it’s the closest you can get to being on the pit wall!

Cars racing at high speed

They’re also leveraging data to create smart venues, using the power of artificial intelligence to gain real-time visibility of what’s happening at the track, enabling the event organizers to ensure that health and safety protocols are all adhered to and that fans have a positive and consistent experience.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and glamour of motor racing, but the lessons we’re learning from this partnership are equally applicable outside the high-speed world of INDYCAR.

These are only a few of the insights we’ve observed:

  • We’re all living at the edge

Behind its streamlined surface and INDYCAR, is a complex computing environment that also happens to be subjected to g-forces of up to five times the force of gravity. The real-time analytics collected from the cars is critical in driving decision-making for the teams, and you can also leverage real-time data to drive positive outcomes when dealing with your customers. Increasingly, organizations are having to incorporate edge computing into their IT environment. Whether we’re talking about CCTV cameras or entire manufacturing plants being able to securely operate and manage devices at the edge of the network is a critical component of the modern IT environment.

  • Go where your customers are

For INDYCAR to provide an exceptional fan experience they need to engage with their audience wherever they are. To this end they’ve partnered with us and our NTT sister company, NTT DATA, to build the INDYCAR Mobile App, leveraging the power of data to drive fan engagement. Today’s fan expects to have access to real-time insights from anywhere, and this is equally applicable in both your customer and employee experience environments. Decisions are no longer made from behind a desk, you need to empower your employees and customers with access to relevant data wherever they are.

  • Everywhere needs to be smart

The race circuit is an extreme testing ground for the smart building. With hundreds of thousands of people attending a race, organizers need to monitor the flow of visitors through gates in real-time, monitor for social distancing and ensure that the security teams have full visibility of the entire facility.

This is impossible without the power of AI and machine learning and the same intelligence that powers the Smart Stadium can be leveraged to provide a safe and secure workplace for almost any organization. From ensuring that a meeting room has the appropriate ventilation for the number of people in it, to allowing visitors to check themselves in at an office, to monitoring an industrial site for potential dangers, smart building systems can improve ensure safety for both employees and visitors.

Partnering with INDYCAR has provided us with the opportunity to leverage the combined strengths of all parts of NTT to find solutions to challenges that may appear unique, but which many of our clients face every day. Working together we’re able to leverage the power of technology and data to address today’s, and tomorrow’s, challenges. And being able to do that while watching the most exciting racing on the planet ... is just an added benefit.

Simon Walsh

Simon Walsh

CEO, NTT Americas