NTT beefs up support for Tour de France, maiden Femmes race

Image courtesy of Tour de France

NTT is enhancing its technology offering for the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift to bring IoT, edge connectivity, and edge computing to the forefront of the famous sporting event.

This year, NTT will bring a greater focus on the combined value of these technologies for real-time analytics. 

NTT will integrate IoT and edge to create the world’s largest “connected stadium” by setting up a digital twin of the race, which will connect layers of real-time information to replicate all aspects of the highly dynamic event digitally.

At the core of NTT’s data-gathering are the bikes themselves. Using geolocation, they will transmit a constant stream of latitude, longitude, and speed data over radio networks to race motorcycles or a plane. 

A microwave signal will then carry the data to the end of the race, where a truck-based edge-computing device will run a containerised version of NTT’s real-time analytics platform.

This year’s race will also see the integration of ChatGPT in NTT’s AI-driven Digital Human solution, which combines machine learning, speech recognition, natural language processing and conversational AI. 

The digital human platform has been specifically trained on relevant race information and can access detailed information to further enhance the fan experience.

“Combining IoT and edge unlocks a new level of operational excellence and one that can’t be achieved in isolation,” said Shahid Ahmed, Group EVP for new ventures and innovation at NTT.

“Capturing, processing, and analysing data alongside the unity of these technologies is essential for making every bike a ‘digital twin’ which is the ultimate demonstration of edge computing in action,” said Ahmed. 

Julien Goupil, head of partnerships and media at ASO, said that having worked with NTT for the past nine years, they’ve seen data become an increasing asset to better explain the race to a mass audience, strongly engage fans, improve their fan experience and support the race organisation’s challenges.

Following the announcement last year of the integration of NTT and NTT Data to create a $30-billion IT services powerhouse, NTT’s technology partnership with both the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift now falls under the NTT Data brand.