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Mercedes F1 team challenges fans to come up with IoT ideas

Steve Rogerson
June 15, 2017



World champion Formula One team Mercedes wants fans to come up with IoT-based ideas that can help it win more races.
 
With Indian technology company Tata Communications, the team has launched the 2017 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize and the first challenge asks fans and technology enthusiasts to come up with IoT ideas that could be used by the team to deliver peak performance at each grand prix
 
One of the judges will by lead driver and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
 
“Formula One is all about new technologies and pushing the boundaries as far as we can,” said Hamilton. “That’s what I love about the sport. The internet of things has the potential to bring huge competitive advantages to our team’s operations, and change how fans experience the sport too. That’s what makes it so exciting. I can’t wait to see the ideas from fans for this challenge."
 
For a chance of winning the US$50,000 top prize, fans and technologists need to design an IoT system that helps Mercedes enhance its competitiveness across three key areas – human performance, race operations and logistics management. It should show how team members, equipment and workspaces could be converted into always-connected beings and things.
 
By harnessing the power of the IoT and real-time data analytics, the idea should empower Mercedes to track, monitor and manage everything in real time. This includes reducing the impact of jet lag on engineers and drivers, increasing the performance of an array of off-car components, such as tyre blankets and data storage units, and ensuring the timely arrival of freight at each race venue.
 
“The Formula One racing calendar requires a feat of human performance, race operations and logistics like no other,” said James Allison, technical director of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. “We wish to measure and optimise every aspect of how our engineers and drivers operate across multiple time zones, as well as how we manage a large number of off-car devices and equipment to give us the best chance of on-track success. For example, we have a dedicated coach to analyse human performance and advise our drivers and engineers on optimal sleep patterns for long-haul flights, and how to collaborate more efficiently at the track.”
 
The judges will pick three winners from each of the two challenges. The six winners will be awarded trips to the final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, where the jury will announce the winner.
 
“The future of the digital world lies in enabling tens of billions of people and things globally to become seamlessly connected,” said Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications president. “This will open up tremendous opportunities in how we engage with one another and everything around us. As F1 enters a new era of digital transformation, we want to drive innovation in the sport through game-changing IoT solutions that have the potential to not only take the teams’ execution on and off the track to the next level, but also enhance the race experience for fans around the world.”
 
In addition to James Allison and Lewis Hamilton, the judging panel includes: John Morrison, chief technical officer of Formula One Group; Martin Brundle, former F1 race driver and commentator for Sky Sports F1; and Mehul Kapadia, managing director of F1 business at Tata Communications. Guest judge will be Ross Brawn, managing director of motorsports for Formula One Group.
 
Tata Consultancy Services is collaborating with Intel to build a future ready reference architecture for the IoT, cloud, network, 5G, AI and data centre infrastructure management. The collaboration will enable the development of products based on Intel's Xeon processors, Core processors, Optane SSDs, Xeon Phi processors and Omni-Path technology, as well as its rack scale design, network function virtualisation and artificial intelligence.