NTT creates a ‘digital twin’ of the Tour de France

NTT creates a ‘digital twin’ of the Tour de France
Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

Japanese telecoms giant NTT has created a “digital twin” of the Tour de France as the tech partner of event organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).

The Tour de France is the third-largest sporting event in the world and is watched by approximately 3.5 billion people across 190 countries.

A digital twin of the event will give operations staff real-time visibility of race data to ensure the continuity and safety of the race.

Peter Gray, Senior Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group, Sport at NTT, said:

“The digitisation of the Tour de France began in 2015 by capturing data from the cyclists to provide real-time updates.

Every year we have been able to take the technology to the next level, this year we are creating what is essentially a digital twin of the event.

It’s a highly dynamic and changing environment that requires immediate access to information to ensure continuous and smooth operations, resulting in more informed and engaged fans.”

Millions of datapoints will be collected to provide insightful visualisations and immersive fan experiences.

Some of the fan experiences will include:

  • Race Center – the official live tracking site that provides race updates including rider live tracking data on and on the official Tour de France Mobile application
  • LeTourData – data-driven insights and AI predictions on Twitter, Instagram and TV broadcast
  • 3D Tracker – an immersive augmented reality app that provides 3D views of the stages
  • Tour de France Fantasy by Tissot – a fantasy sports game integrating data insights and machine learning (NTT predictor) to provide insights on the riders to watch
  • NTT Media Wall – a rich media display at the race villages featuring data insights and visualisations from LeTourData, and live race updates

Data will be collected from a wide range of IoT sensors and will be combined with edge compute and NTT’s smart platforms for the most digital Tour de France yet.

The combination of these technologies will enable real-time visibility of key locations and assets, COVID-19 contact tracing, and immediate updates of caravan and race arrival times.

Meanwhile, analytics at the edge will provide real-time data back to official race vehicles and enable a live overview of the race situation, even in remote areas or high up in the mountains.

Yann Le Moenner, Chief Executive of ASO, commented:

“Technology plays a vital part in helping us innovate at the speed fans expect from their mobile and cloud-based applications, all the while providing event insights, rich analytics and intelligent digital solutions.

Since 2015, we’ve brought a whole host of digital enhancements to the event to create the best ‘connected fan’ experience.

This year is no different, delivering a data-driven experience across any device, wherever you are in the world.”

With the pandemic continuing to restrict travel and in-person experiences, the digitalisation of events is vital to continue supporting fans in a safe manner.

“A recurring theme for many organisations as they navigate the pandemic is how to ensure their customers’ changing needs and requirements are met,” adds Gray.

“We’re helping to constantly innovate the Tour de France, an event millions of passionate fans from around the world eagerly anticipate.”

(Photo by Simon Connellan on Unsplash)

Want to find out more from executives and thought leaders in this space? Find out more about the Digital Twin World event, taking place on 19th-20th October 2021, which will explore augmenting business outcomes in more depth and the industries that will benefit.

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