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The Tour de France Races into Slicing-Edge Expertise


The Tour de France (TdF) has gone excessive digital to deliver the expertise alive for followers this yr. NTT will remodel the TdF viewing expertise by leveraging IoT, edge computing, and AI to ship a big and prolonged “linked stadium.” Sports activities has a protracted historical past as a take a look at mattress for modern and rising applied sciences that may improve the viewer expertise. This yr, NTT is partaking cutting-edge tech to take TdF into the digital world.

The TdF organizer, the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), has engaged its long-term associate NTT to roll out new expertise to reinforce the fan expertise. “For the ninth yr working, NTT is supporting A.S.O to ship modern and digital sports activities experiences powered by IoT, edge computing, and real-time analytics,” Joan Kuhrmann, director of program administration at NTT, instructed Design Information. “Notably, information has develop into a cornerstone of the fan expertise and with it, we’re in a position to deliver rider efficiency to life with visualizations and predictive analytics for social media, broadcasters, and cellular screens around the globe.”

Michael Steele / Workers for Velo by way of Getty Photos Tour de France

NTT is delivering a variety of its expertise and digital processes to the multi-day bike race. “Our partnership with A.S.O. is an end-to-end showcase of what NTT does finest: cloud, information analytics, machine studying and AI, edge computing, cybersecurity, IoT, managed companies, collaboration companies, IT administration, and good venues,” stated Kuhrmass. “We’re utilizing our expertise to offer followers at house and on the roadside with the premier TdF viewing expertise.”

Listed below are a number of the parts of the linked stadium:

ChatGPT Integration

This yr, NTT is introducing Marianne, the corporate’s AI-driven digital-human resolution. Marianne combines machine studying, speech recognition, pure language processing, and conversational AI. The digital-human platform has been particularly skilled on related race info and might entry detailed info to additional improve the fan expertise. “The platform is known as after Marianne Martin, the primary lady to win the Tour de France Féminin in 1984,” stated Kuhrmann. “This AI-based avatar has been specifically skilled on related race info and leverages ChatGPT to reply fan questions in regards to the race, the venue, staff info, who’s the favourite to win the stage or general race, and extra. Wanting forward, we see extra alternatives to combine Marianne throughout the TdF arrival and departure villages and probably enrich the TdF app.”

The Digital Twin Stadium

Now a totally digitized occasion, the TdF digital twin connects layers of real-time info to copy all elements of the extremely dynamic occasion digitally. At 3,400 km of individuals, operations, and belongings, the digital twin of the Tour de France offers the A.S.O. a view of what’s occurring and the place to allow them to guarantee a clean occasion. “Using the facility of IoT, edge computing, and cloud, NTT permits the world’s largest linked stadium, virtualizing the depth of the race for viewers at house,” stated Kuhrmann. “The digital twin brings collectively over 3,400 KM of individuals, operations, and belongings to offer the A.S.O with a big-picture view of the whole race.

Actual-Time Information Analytics

On the core of NTT’s data-gathering are the bikes themselves. Utilizing geolocation, the tiny sensors mounted beneath the saddle of every rider’s bike will transmit a relentless stream of latitude, longitude, velocity, time gaps, and climate information over radio networks to race bikes and plane. A microwave sign will then carry the info to the tip of the race, the place a truck-based edge-computing system will run a containerized model of NTT’s real-time analytics platform. All inside milliseconds.

The info analytics will probably be engaged all through the whole race. “Regardless of the place riders are through the race, NTT’s real-time analytics platform leverages the bikes themselves as data-gathering factors,” stated Kuhrmann. “Utilizing geolocations, the small sensors mounted beneath the saddle of every rider’s bike will transmit a relentless stream of latitude, longitude, and velocity over radio networks to race bikes and plane.”

The info analytics use microwave indicators to ship prompt connections to the platform. “Information is then despatched by way of a microwave sign to the tip of the race, the place a truck-based edge computing system will run a containerized model of our real-time analytics platform,” stated Kuhrmass. “This all occurs inside milliseconds, offering followers, race organizers, and staff members with deep race insights.”

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