Tata Communications, the official connectivity provider to Formula 1 and the Official managed connectivity supplier of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, is today launching the 2017 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize and unveiling the first challenge of this year’s competition – with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT). The first challenge, set by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, asks F1 fans and technology enthusiasts to come up with ideas for IoT solutions that could be used by the team to deliver peak performance at each Grand Prix.
“The Formula 1 racing calendar requires a feat of human performance, race operations and logistics like no other,” says 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.”
For a chance of winning the $50,000 Grand Prize, fans and technologists need to design an IoT solution that helps Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to 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 solution should empower Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to track, monitor and manage everything in real-time. This includes minimising the impact of jet lag on engineers and drivers, maximising 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.
Formula One World Drivers’ Champion, Lewis Hamilton – a judge for the 2017 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize – says, “Formula 1 is all about new technologies and pushing the boundaries as far as we can; 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.”