The Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise, the rights holder of the Isle of Man TT Races, has announced that it has awarded NTT Ltd., a world-leading global technology services provider, a five year contract to implement a real-time race management platform for the Isle of Man TT Races.
NTT Ltd. will work in partnership with SES, a Luxembourg-based global satellite operator, which already provides the interface to the TT broadcasters. Although primarily in place to provide the race organiser with live timing and positioning data, the platform will also have the ability to enhance the viewing experience of the race and attract a new generation of digitally savvy fans.
The platform uses Amazon AWS cloud services to collect real-time data from the various event vehicles at any point around the circuit which will be made available to race fans via the official iomttraces.com website. This will facilitate live-time tracking services for course cars, travelling marshals and competitor race bikes at one of the most challenging racing events in the world. The contract also covers the Classic TT Races and the Manx Grand Prix, all of which take place around the iconic TT Course.
The new real-time GPS timing system is targeted to be available for the 2021 TT Race. It will introduce the latest available technology to trace race bikes with a speed of more than 200 miles per hour (322 km/h) in real-time with a location accuracy of up to 10 cm on the TT Course. It delivers rapid update speeds, is highly precise and has an accuracy of one thousandth of a second. It’s cutting-edge Machine Learning models will improve safety and has the potential to predict key race moments in the future.
In addition, a local 4G mobile network is in place to transport the event data from the vehicles on the ground, to the race viewers via the digital platform. Traditionally, sports solutions use a proprietary network to cover racetracks for GPS timing. In the case of the iconic TT Course, 61 km in length travelling though villages, valleys, forests and over a mountain, this legacy approach would not have been feasible.
NTT Ltd. has already carried out preliminary tests of the tracking system around the TT Course and is targeting delivery of the new service for the 2021 Isle of Man TT Races. The services provided by NTT Ltd. will include competitor race entry and registration, live tracking of all competitor machines as well as non-competitor vehicles including course cars, sweepers, ambulances and travelling marshal bikes.
Laurence Skelly, Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise, said: “By working with NTT Ltd. and SES, we have the ability to improve the general safety at the event by tracking all vehicles on the TT Course in real time. This solution also has the potential to revolutionise how the TT Races and our other events around the TT course are experienced by fans around the world. Viewers will soon be able to follow the race in real time and be kept up to date on all the exciting race developments as they happen. We hope that this will be a good use case for future Smart City projects.”
The TT Race is tipped to become the first high profile use case for the next generation mobile network on the Isle of Man, paving the way and setting the standard for future IOT projects on the island and even around the world.