NTT, the IT and services company, has been the long-standing partner of the Tour de France for the past nine years. This year, they are taking the viewing experience to a whole new level by incorporating the latest technologies such as IoT, edge computing, and generative AI. The aim is to create “the world’s largest connected stadium” and introduce ChatGPT to enhance the digital experience.
The concept of the “connected stadium” revolves around the creation of a digital twin of the race. This digital replica will utilize real-time data to digitally replicate all aspects of the event, transforming the Tour de France into a fully digitized experience. The digital twin will provide the event’s organizer, the Amaury Sports Organization, with valuable insights, ensuring smooth operations throughout the race.
To gather data on the bikes, NTT will be using geolocation and tiny sensors mounted underneath the saddle of each bike. These sensors will continuously transmit data such as latitude, longitude, speed, and other relevant information to race vehicles via radio networks. From there, a microwave signal will carry the data to the end of the race. At the finish line, an edge-computing device will run a “containerized version” of a real-time analytics platform, enabling efficient data analysis.
In addition to these advancements, NTT will integrate ChatGPT into their AI-driven Digital Human solution. This integration, named Marianne, will utilize machine learning, speech recognition, natural language processing, and conversational AI to provide fans with detailed and relevant race information. This integration will also be applied to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, the women’s counterpart race that was introduced last year.
The incorporation of these technologies marks a significant step forward for the Tour de France, transforming it into a technologically advanced and immersive event. By leveraging IoT, edge computing, and generative AI, NTT aims to enhance the viewing experience for millions of fans worldwide, providing them with comprehensive race information and insights.
As the Tour de France embraces artificial intelligence and digital transformation, it sets a precedent for other sporting events to follow suit. The integration of these technologies not only enhances the spectator experience but also revolutionizes event management and operations. With NTT’s expertise and partnership, the Tour de France continues to evolve and captivate audiences around the globe.