Tour de France gets ‘digital twin’ as NTT seeks to bolster ASO’s toolkit

Visualisations of each stage seek to enhance race operations and fan experience.

by Tom Bassam

Tour de France gets ‘digital twin’ as NTT seeks to bolster ASO’s toolkit
  • NTT also powering a number of digital fan experiences, including the race’s official fantasy platform
  • Data insights to be delivered to fans via digital platforms and social media

Japanese technology services provider NTT, which is the official technology partner of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), has announced it will create the world’s largest connected stadium for the Tour de France.

Creating what NTT describes as a ‘digital twin’ of the cycling grand tour, millions of data points will be collected and brought to life through visualisations. The platform will also offer new services to support the Tour de France’s event operations when it gets underway on 26th June.

In recreating each of the 21 race stages, NTT is seeking to enable the race organisers to gain real-time visibility and streamline operations. NTT will use a broad range of IoT sensors, edge compute and networks, integrated into NTT’s smart platforms which will be 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, as well in-the-moment updates of race timing.

In another first for 2021, NTT will use real-time analytics 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.

NTT is also enhancing the race’s fan experiences with a suite of digital upgrades that include a new Race Centre, an official live tracking platform that provides race updates including rider live tracking data; data-driven insights and artificial intelligence (AI) LeTourData predictions which will be shared on social media and TV broadcast; as well as the 3D Tracker immersive augmented reality (AR) platform.

NTT is also powering the official Tour de France Fantasy platform and a Media Wall display at the race villages featuring LeTourData, as well as live race updates.

Peter Gray, senior vice president of NTT’s sport advanced technology group, said: “A recurring theme for many organisations as they navigate the pandemic is how to ensure their customers’ changing needs and requirements are met. The ability to adapt has been at the heart of our seven-year partnership with ASO.

“We’re helping to constantly innovate the Tour de France, an event millions of passionate fans from around the world eagerly anticipate. Each year the stakes increase as we create new ways to reach and engage more people in new and exciting ways, which is no easy feat when you consider the complexity of the race.”