The Future of Motorsports – Artificial Intelligence (AI) + Drone Technology
Usually the mention of Intel brings computer chips to the mind. One definitely does not imagine Ferrari’s racing around a track with drones overhead capturing video and analyzing it with Artificial Intelligence. But it looks like Intel is not only about chips and Ferrari is not just about cars, as the two companies have recently partnered up to make artificially intelligent (AI) drones.
The company used CES 2018 to announce its collaboration with the Ferrari Challenge North America racing series, to “enhance the motorsports experience for spectators and illustrate the potential of artificial intelligence for transforming the future of motorsports”. At the same event the chipmaker also revealed an upcoming three-year partnership a partnership with Ferrari North America to deploy video-capturing drones during races that use artificial intelligence.
The captured footage will be analyzed in real time and offer up telematic information to drivers and their crews to help them tighten up lap times. Intel also says that the data can be used by broadcasters to help create a race narrative with data that was not previously available to TV crews. The AI drone would go live during 2018’s Ferrari Challenge North America Series, according to news reports. Of course, the data could also be shared with viewers interested in data about individual drivers or how the whole pack is taking a certain corner. Intel says that the data gleaned from the cars will deliver all the subtle details to the viewers and will be far more advanced than anything a human could produce since the AI will recognize subtle variations that could go unnoticed by a person, as the AI would identify even the faintest variations that usually go unnoticed by humans.
“You can use AI techniques to teach drivers to drive better. What that means is pointing out where they could do things differently, and be faster, or actually intervene in sort of small amounts going around a track,” Intel Vice President and General Manager of AI Products, Naveen Rao, said in a video announcing the partnership. “For example, artificial intelligence could compare the entry and exit angles that a driver takes in turns from lap to lap or compare across different drivers and identify which turns were fastest.
Motorsport is one of the most data-heavy disciplines out there, as sensor-rigged cars generate a ton of info during a race. However, Intel claims it can improve races for both drivers and viewers, using drones and AI to do so.