NTT Brings AI and Data Innovation to the Indianapolis 500

NTT is harnessing cutting-edge technologies like AI and data analytics to revolutionise how the Indianapolis 500 race is competed and experienced by fans

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most iconic and celebrated events in motorsports. Dating back over a century to 1911, the Indy 500 has thrilled audiences with its high-speed, intense competition of drivers pushing their open-wheel race cars to the limits. And as technology has advanced, the Indy 500 experience has evolved too – both for the racing teams and for its tens of thousands of fans. 

At the forefront of implementing cutting-edge technology for the Indianapolis 500 is NTT, a global leader in information technology services and solutions. NTT serves as the Official Technology Partner for INDYCAR, the sanctioning body behind the NTT INDYCAR SERIES of races including the prestigious Indy 500.

“NTT DATA has pushed the boundaries of how technology can impact motorsports, helping us tap into vast amounts of data in advanced and productive ways,” says Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation – which owns INDYCAR and IMS. “NTT DATA has delivered meaningful improvements to operations at Indianapolis Motor Speedway through their NTT Smart Venue technology, driving new levels of safety, security and efficiency for 300,000 fans in the stands, while also supplying real-time data feeds into race control as well as our INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.”

NTT is leveraging its expertise in data, AI and smart solutions to provide groundbreaking innovations that are transforming how racing teams compete and how fans engage with the iconic event. Here, Technology Magazine highlights some of the key technology solutions NTT has implemented:

Data-driven racing insights

Each race car is outfitted with over 140 sensors capturing a massive eight billion data points throughout an event. NTT feeds this racing data into its NTT Smart Solutions Platform, applying advanced AI and predictive analytics.

The insights gleaned allow NTT to provide near real-time visualisations to fans on critical moments like head-to-head overtaking, race strategies, predicted race winners, and more. Fans can access these data-driven racing narratives through the INDYCAR App as well as race broadcasts.

Smart venue enhancements

Behind the scenes, NTT is revolutionising the operational efficiency and fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself through "smart venue" technologies. Computer vision, sensor data, digital ticketing and other smart solutions work together to optimise areas like:

  • Security screening 
  • Crowd flow modelling
  • Traffic management
  • Concessions wait times

The 300,000+ fans attending the Indy 500 can benefit from a smoothly running, safe environment thanks to NTT's venue optimisation solutions.

Lifelike racing simulations

In one of its most cutting-edge innovations for the Indy 500, NTT is introducing limited fan experiences leveraging its "Embodied Knowledge" technology. This blends physical feedback like vibrations, forces and steering resistances with immersive digital elements.

Fans, NTT says, can experience what it feels like to drive an Indy race car on the iconic oval by synchronising their movements with that of a professional racing driver. It's a remarkable simulation only possible through the convergence of technologies like sensors, AI, XR and haptics that NTT has pioneered.

Eric Clark, CEO, NTT DATA, North America, says: “We work with the world’s leading enterprises in complex sectors, yet few organisations produce as much real-time data and analytics as NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing teams and venues. Partnering with INDYCAR helps us explore and pressure test our offerings in intense real-time settings. We use those learnings to help our clients innovate and transform their operations, improve sustainability, leverage AI and enhance customer experiences.”

The insights gleaned allow NTT to provide near real-time visualisations to fans on critical moments like head-to-head overtaking, race strategies, predicted race winners, and more. Fans can access these data-driven racing narratives through the INDYCAR App as well as race broadcasts.

Smart venue enhancements

Behind the scenes, NTT is revolutionising the operational efficiency and fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself through "smart venue" technologies. Computer vision, sensor data, digital ticketing and other smart solutions work together to optimise areas like:

  • Security screening 
  • Crowd flow modelling
  • Traffic management
  • Concessions wait times

The 300,000+ fans attending the Indy 500 can benefit from a smoothly running, safe environment thanks to NTT's venue optimisation solutions.

Lifelike racing simulations

In one of its most cutting-edge innovations for the Indy 500, NTT is introducing limited fan experiences leveraging its "Embodied Knowledge" technology. This blends physical feedback like vibrations, forces and steering resistances with immersive digital elements.

Fans, NTT says, can experience what it feels like to drive an Indy race car on the iconic oval by synchronising their movements with that of a professional racing driver. It's a remarkable simulation only possible through the convergence of technologies like sensors, AI, XR and haptics that NTT has pioneered.

Eric Clark, CEO, NTT DATA, North America, says: “We work with the world’s leading enterprises in complex sectors, yet few organisations produce as much real-time data and analytics as NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing teams and venues. Partnering with INDYCAR helps us explore and pressure test our offerings in intense real-time settings. We use those learnings to help our clients innovate and transform their operations, improve sustainability, leverage AI and enhance customer experiences.”

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