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NTT to Power Enhanced Experience for Indianapolis 500 and INDYCAR

Indianapolis 500
(Image credit: Indianapolis 500)

INDIANAPOLIS—NTT and Penske Entertainment have announced that they will be providing an enhanced, more immersive experience for INDYCAR fans in time for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. 

“Fans are the lifeblood of our series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment. “INDYCAR will continue investing in the incredible technology that brings fans closer to the action and we have a great partner with NTT. They are consistently bringing forward new innovations to help us engage a global audience. Last year, we saw fan engagement increase at an unprecedented rate. We hope to continue on that trajectory with the help of NTT.”

NTT has gathered millions of data points from prior seasons and the first five events of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES utilizing its data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin capabilities to deliver more in-depth, real-time and predictive insights, the companies said. 

NTT provides fans with data-driven predictions, ranging from the best overtake opportunities to how pit and fuel strategies will play out during a race. 

NTT INDYCAR SERIES fans can access these predictive analytics for the entire season by following the NTT INDYCAR SERIES social media channels, where insights will be displayed during races including the upcoming Indianapolis 500.  

In addition, NTT will continue supplying these insights and analytics to NBC’s production team with plans underway for broadcast inclusion as the season moves forward.

To accomplish this, NTT creates a digital twin for every car. A digital twin uses historical data as a foundation to mirror a physical object, like a car. Each car has more than 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 with 500 miles/200 laps of competition, the Indy 500 will yield more data than any other race, with more than eight billion data points collected. This allows NTT to predict race strategy with a high level of accuracy using AI and predictive analytics, giving an insider’s view of what is happening on the track, and forecasts that - until now - only a race team engineer would have known.

The INDYCAR Data Insights powered by NTT include:

  • Race strategies and predictions
  • Intercepts and battles for position
  • Pit stop performance impact
  • Effects of fuel levels and tire wear

“We’ve leveled up the interactive experience for fans with actual digital twins of each racecar and more predictive analytics, so INDYCAR fans can feel as close to the driver’s seat as possible,” said Eric Clark, chief digital officer, NTT DATA Services. “For us, this 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 is an exciting milestone in an already engaging season. We look forward to bringing more innovation and leading-edge digital technology to our friends at Penske Entertainment so they may continue to reach new heights in one of the largest and longest running traditions in sports.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world’s largest sports venue with capacity to host crowds in excess of 350,000, has been transformed into a Smart Venue using NTT’s Smart Solutions, improving the visitor experience for attendees and employees alike. Operations and security teams have improved visibility into current and possible scenarios with digital twin technology, as well as AI-enabled optical detection providing real-time view of the venue, including visitor and vehicle traffic flow and congestion, they’re able to optimize resources in real time and make faster, data-driven decisions. NTT’s Smart Solutions also benefit fans through the IMS Mobile App, which updates predictions of gate entry wait times and peak traffic areas every 30 seconds to allow fans to better plan their entry into the venue.

“NTT delivers co-innovation with our clients every day and the work we’re doing with INDYCAR is a perfect example of this,” said Peter Cutts, chief advisory and innovation officer, NTT Ltd. “The interconnected digital backbone and platform NTT developed for INDYCAR leverages new and emerging technologies that enable INDYCAR to push the envelope by reaching new audiences and changing the way fans engage in sport. The applications for this disruptive business model are limitless and can be applied to other industries such as connected cities, healthcare, manufacturing facilities and beyond.”

More information about the work NTT is doing with Penske Entertainment and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is available here (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.