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NTT to create world’s largest connected stadium, generating a ‘digital twin’ of the Tour de France

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NTT, the official technology partner to A.S.O, has announced it will create the world’s largest connected stadium, a concept unique to the Tour de France, generating a ‘digital twin’ of the event. Millions of data points will be collected and brought to life through stunning, insightful visualisations and digital experiences for fans, as well as new services to support the event operations for this three-week long race that takes place from June 26, 2021 to July 18, 2021.

Due to ongoing travel restrictions and Covid-19 safety measures, NTT, together with A.S.O, will deliver a host of digital experiences to engage fans around the world. 

The Tour de France is a mobile stadium that picks up and moves every day for 21 days, across 3,400km visiting some of the most remote locations in France, from the picturesque countryside to the harsh landscapes of the Alps and Pyrenees.

Creating a digital twin of the event will enable operations staff to gain real time visibility and ultimately streamline operations to ensure the continuity and resilience of the race. NTT will use a broad range of IoT sensors, edge compute and networks, integrated into NTT’s smart platforms and mapped against a geo-location model of each stage of the Tour. This will enable real-time visibility of key locations and assets, Covid-19 contact tracing and in-the-moment updates of caravan and race arrival times. 

In another first for 2021, NTT will use real time analytics at the edge to provide immediate race data back to official race vehicles. This will deliver a live overview of the race situation, even in remote areas or the high mountains. 

Peter Gray, Senior Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, Sport, NTT commented, “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.”

By providing a truly hybrid environment of physical servers, virtual servers, containers, and serverless functions for different workloads, all deployed via automated Infrastructure as Code, NTT is able to support this broad array of fan and operational services for A.S.O. This will all be monitored by NTT’s Services Portal and a global team of experts connected via NTT’s Managed Collaboration Service, facilitating the demand to be better connected, no matter where the race is staged and regardless of where computing, applications and users reside.

Creating a digital twin of the race also means greater connectivity of devices and vehicles, as well as more applications and platforms accessing services hosted in the cloud – whether public, private or hybrid. Whatever the host, for A.S.O, data will be at the core. This not only includes understanding where different data lies, but how to gather it and use it effectively to create better experiences, whether it be the fans, the media, or the cycling teams.

Yann Le Moenner, Chief Executive, A.S.O 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 have 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.”

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