During his opening keynote speech at CES2018, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a three-year partnership between Intel, Ferrari North America and the Ferrari Challenge North America Series to use the company’s AI technologies – the whole idea being to enhance the racing experience for viewers, race teams and race drivers alike.
It’s like something straight out of a video game. With the help of drone-mounted cameras used to capture footage of the race track during a session, Intel’s AI tech will cast its eye over the footage in real-time, applying object identification models – to help read oncoming traffic, crash debris etc – and tagging certain sections of video that might be useful to the the team to pore over later.
This not only gives drivers a chance to view their performance from a bird’s eye view, something infinitely helpful to perfecting how they attack a track, but the use of multiple drones can also help broadcasters cast a wider eye over everything, something a single camera-loaded helicopter cannot.
Also interesting for viewers, machine learning will help keep of each of the story lines that evolve for each driver, painting a much more detailed picture of how their race unfolded; how many laps did their battle for position last? How did they force the driver in front to make an error? It opens up the sport to more fans by making it easier to follow everything that’s going on, and it sounds totally awesome.
There are more benefits for drivers too. AI can perform real-time analysis of in-car telemetry, which could pave the way for Gran Tursimo-style readouts for drivers, feeding them data as they haul themselves and their car around the circuit at a few hundred kilometres per hour.
As a huge fan of anything motorsports-related, I can’t wait to see how this pans out. And who knows, if it goes well, maybe it won’t be long before we see it applied to international championships as well, like the World Endurance Championship or Formula 1.