IoT innovators urged to take starting positions for Formula 1 competition

IoT innovators urged to take starting positions for Formula 1 competition

IoT innovators work on Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton racing for Mercedes at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

Calling all motorsport-obsessed IoT innovators: Tata Communications has launched its Formula 1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, with star driver Lewis Hamilton as one of the judges of the competition.

In its first challenge of the Prize, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team is on the hunt for ideas for IoT solutions that could be used by the team to boost performance on major Grand Prix tracks around the world.

For a chance to win the $50,000 Grand Prize, participants need to develop a solution that helps Mercedes team excel across three key areas: human performance, race operations and logistics management. It should use IoT technologies and real-time data analytics to enable the team to track and manage team members, equipment and workspaces in real time.

Read more: Williams using IoT to develop perfect F1 pit stop

Fuel of bright ideas

Entries for the competition might focus on minimising the impact of jetlag on engineers and drivers as they travel from track to track during the F1 season; maximizing the performance of off-car components from tyre blankets to data storage units; or ensuring that valuable freight arrives at each race venue in plenty of time for the challenge ahead, Tata Communications suggests.

According to James Allison, technical director of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the Formula 1 racing calendar “requires a feat of human performance, race operations and logistics like no other. We wish to measure and optimize every aspect of how our engineers and drivers operate across multiple timezones, as well as how we manage a large number of off-car devices and equipment to give us the best chance of on-track success.”

And in an effusive official statement, Lewis Hamilton added: “Formula 1 is all about new technologies and pushing the boundaries as far as we can; that’s what I love about the sport. The Internet of Things has the potential to bring huge competitive advantages to our team’s operations, and change how fans experience the sport too. That’s what makes it so exciting. I can’t wait to see the ideas from fans for this challenge.”

Read more: Formula E seeks to Basho Formula One off top spot with IoT

Competition judges

Three winners will be picked from each of the two challenges of the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize, of which this is the first. The six winners will be taken to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, where the jury will announce the Grand Prize winner.

In addition to Lewis Hamilton and James Allison, the judging panel also includes Formula One Group chief technical officer John Morrison; former racing driver and now Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle; and Mehul Kapadia, managing director of the F1 business at Tata Communications. As well as supplying managed connectivity services to the Mercedes team, Tata Communications is also the overall connectivity provider to Formula 1.

A full brief for the first challenge can be downloaded from the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize website, with the closing date for entries set for 15 June 2017. The second challenge will be set by Formula One Group on 13 July 2017.