NTT, lead sponsor of the IndyCar Series, is partnering with Penske Entertainment to improve the experience of fans watching the racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) at home and at the track.
This year, NTT is providing race fans with data-driven predictions, such as the best overtake opportunities, head-to-head battles, or upcoming pit stop strategies, that will be displayed on IndyCar social media channels during the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on 29th May.
This data will offer race fans a perspective of the IndyCar series they’ve never had access to before and gives them more information that adds to the overall experience, thanks to insights from NTT’s Smart Solutions technology.
There are 140 sensors spread around each of the 33 cars entered in the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. These sensors produce millions of data points.
With this data, NTT creates a digital twin for every race car that uses historical data to mirror the car to make real-time predictions. NTT also is using millions more data points from prior seasons and the first five races of the year to create the most accurate and accommodating experience possible.
“The most exciting aspect of this partnership is what we're doing with all the data,” said Eric Clark, chief digital officer for NTT Data Services.
“When we start crunching that data, we can do a lot. Not only is that interesting for the diehard fans that really know what all this data means, but we can start doing predictions and analysis for the newer fans, bring more people into it and help them understand how to how to make sense of that data and make it more interesting and more engaging.”
Additionally, NTT is transforming the 113-year-old IMS into a smart venue by improving the visibility of all aspects of the nearly 1,000-acre facility so that operations and security teams can understand what is happening at different areas of the racetrack faster than ever.
This allows staff to respond quicker to congestion problems at a certain gate or vehicle flow in a certain area and alleviate issues to allow for a better fan experience. Plus, NTT’s Smart Solutions will update the IMS App every 30 seconds with wait time information at each gate to allow race fans smoother entry into the facility.
While the business applications of NTT and its Smart Solutions technology for North America’s premier open-wheel series and the Racing Capital of the World are immense, it means more to NTT that its product is helping race fans have a better experience while in a safer venue.
“We've never wanted to be just a logo on the series, right?” said Margo Cooke, vice president of brand, creative, events and sponsorships at NTT Data Services. “We've always wanted the NTT IndyCar Series to be about building those brands together and leveraging technology to do it.”
“This is about helping further the history of the IndyCar Series,” Clark added. “If you think about it, data is becoming bigger and bigger in sports. Well, you think about where we are with technology and data in the NTT IndyCar Series, we're just at the cusp of that right now. We're using it to make it more engaging and more interesting.”