From extreme weather to extreme racing

  • junio 20, 2024
indycar race

The recent Indianapolis 500 race drew about 350,000 fans, which made the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) one of the most densely populated locations on the planet. In fact, the venue’s race-day density was roughly seven times greater than the world’s most densely populated cities. Had IMS been a city, it would have been Indiana’s second-largest municipality — all squeezed into about 250 acres within the oval track and surrounding stands.

On a good day, managing such a teeming crowd — and maneuvering through it — is a challenge for event organizers, racing teams, emergency responders and fans. But conditions for the 2024 Indianapolis 500 became radically more complex when storms caused a four-hour rain delay. Stands had to be evacuated due to lightning, even as 100,000 people were still waiting outside the gates.

Enter NTT DATA. Our parent company, NTT, is title sponsor of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Together, we serve as the Official Technology Partners for INDYCAR, IMS and more. In that role, our team transformed IMS into a Smart Venue powered by the NTT DATA Smart Management Platform (SMP).

NTT DATA Smart Venue

Our proprietary Smart Venue solution gathers and analyzes enormous volumes of real-time data to enhance the experience of fans, event staff and racing teams — even in extreme conditions. The solution generated a digital twin of the entire facility, which SMP uses to provide real-time views and analysis of the speedway’s 20+ entrance gates. The platform applies computer vision, AI and data science to compute current and future wait times and identify potential issues before they get out of control. For fans, Smart Venue insights and predictions help them plan their arrival at the track and avoid the longest lines. In concession areas, this same capability reduces fan wait times while helping operators manage inventory and staff.

Such real-time awareness became especially important when severe weather prevented fans outside the venue from entering, while fans already inside were instructed to seek shelter. IMS operations staff relied on Smart Venue reporting to quickly assess conditions and crowds throughout the facility and develop mitigation strategies. After the four-hour rain delay, everyone was rewarded with a thrilling back-and-forth race that Josef Newgarden ultimately won by a fraction of a second.

You can learn more about Smart Venue in this blog.

INDYCAR insights powered by NTT DATA

Beyond crowd management, SMP delivers insights and analyses for every race in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES while each race is in progress. Each car has more than 140 sensors, which measure speed, throttle, braking, oil pressure, tire pressure and more as drivers scream around tracks at 200+ miles per hour. The platform applies real-time AI and data analytics to identify intriguing storylines, highlight head-to-head analyses and predict race strategies.

Fans can track these insights across NTT and INDYCAR social-media channels as well as NBC television broadcasts during each race. In the 2023 season, SMP processed over 2 million messages from each race, which informed over 2,000 race-strategy predictions and more than 41,000 intercept predictions.

Before each competition, SMP predicts the winner by analyzing every driver's practice, qualification and historical performance, along with other data on weather, specific track performance and more. In the first six races of the 2024 season, SMP successfully predicted four winners.

Smart Cities

The value of SMP’s data-driven insights extends to industries and even entire cities — really, any organization that strives for better decision-making, stronger strategies and optimized operations. For example, we first collaborated with the city and county of Las Vegas, along with other partners, to deploy Smart solutions in 2018. SMP now helps the city improve situational awareness, mitigate traffic congestion and enhance public safety. Las Vegas is currently implementing Private 5G from NTT to extend Smart solutions to new areas and deliver advanced capabilities to citizens and businesses citywide.

Smart Sustainability

Our Smart Sustainability solutions help clients respond to the increasing global focus on the environment and sustainable business practices. SMP creates a strong foundation to pursue sustainability, ESG and net-zero objectives, including carbon calculation and greenhouse gas reporting. The solution’s enhanced visibility and what-if analysis help organizations optimize their carbon footprint and reduce waste.

NTT DATA Global Data Centers (GDC) adopted Smart Sustainability solutions to improve the quality and granularity of their emissions data. Data centers, in general, are large energy consumers, and GDC is one of the world’s largest data center providers. The solution helps GDC drive faster baselining, carbon tracking, KPIs and statutory reporting.

Another example is Mark Development, which develops mixed-use real estate throughout the Northeast United States. They wanted a next-generation solution to promote sustainable living in their buildings. We deployed Smart Sustainability solutions and created a digital twin to import and configure key data points, such as building, unit, tenant, transit and weather information. SMP analyzes this data and feeds insights to a web-based dashboard and common-area kiosks to empower data-driven, environmentally conscious lifestyles. The solution also fosters tenant interaction, recommends events and delivers personalized content (including personal goals and leaderboard games) to enhance tenants' experiences and engagement in real time.

From INDYCAR and industries to sustainability, NTT DATA’s Smart Management Platform “thinks” by accessing multivariant data sources, perceiving current conditions and then planning, deciding and taking action or recommending options based on those insights. It’s a smart way to make smarter decisions and support a more sustainable future for everyone.

For more information on NTT DATA’s Smart capabilities, visit our Accelerate Smart page.

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Bennett Indart

Bennett Indart is a senior executive in the NTT family. He leads the overall global strategy and development of the NTT SMART Management Platform solution portfolio. His focus is driving innovation around IoT and AI, capitalizing on emerging trends in analytics, data science and digital twins, as well as promoting data-driven decision making with cross-industry Smart Solutions including Sustainability.

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