MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team invites fans to develop new virtual reality solutions to speed up collaboration between trackside and team HQ

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team invites fans to develop new virtual reality solutions to speed up collaboration between trackside and team HQ

Entries now open for the second challenge of the USD $50,000 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize

SINGAPORE, 12 JULY 2016 – Tata Communications, the Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1® and the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team is, together with Lewis Hamilton, unveiling the second challenge of the 2016 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize. The challenge asks fans worldwide to harness their technical know-how and passion for F1® racing to see how virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies could be used to help the team collaborate more quickly and efficiently in the run-up to and during each Grand Prix.  

For a chance of winning the USD $50,000 Grand Prize, fans need to develop a solution that uses VR or AR to enable closer collaboration between the team of engineers trackside, and those working remotely at the team’s factory in the UK. Currently, the two teams of engineers come up with a race strategy, review component changes and resolve any issues using audio communications and two-way video feeds between the track and the factory. The objective is to show how this collaboration could be enhanced using VR or AR during mid-season tests, practice, qualifying or race day, helping the two teams to become a more closely integrated unit, and ultimately boosting the drivers’ competitiveness.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, and one of the judges of the 2016 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize, says, “There is great scope for us to use the latest VR and AR technologies to enhance and speed up both the remote team’s ability to analyse car data and suggest solutions to issues that may arise on the track, and the trackside team’s ability to harness the insights from the remote team. These ideas could give the team a new kind of competitive edge.”

Lewis Hamilton says, It’s been amazing to see fans come up with such bold ideas over the last two years. I can’t wait to take a look at the 2016 entries and see what the future of the sport might look like.”

“VR and AR applications are set to transform how people engage with each other and the world around them, so the exhilarating, high-pressure environment of F1 is the best place to explore the full potential of these technologies,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business. ”With this challenge, we look to unleash the collective brainpower of F1 fans and technology enthusiasts worldwide to show how creative applications of VR and AR, underpinned by superfast connectivity, could boost F1 teams’ competitiveness.”

In addition to Paddy Lowe and Lewis Hamilton, the judging panel includes John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management; David Coulthard, former Formula 1® race driver and Channel 4’s F1® racing Lead Expert Analyst and commentator; Martin Brundle, former Formula 1® race driver and F1® commentator for Sky Sports F1® and Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1® Business at Tata Communications.

The first challenge, set by Formula One Management, called on fans to develop a solution that uses VR or AR to enable people at home to experience a Grand Prix virtually. The winning solutions, by James Gough and Rich Pilsbury (UK), Paul Clarke (Australia) and Datu YogaBrata (Singapore), showed how fans who are not at the live event, could immerse themselves into the exciting world of F1® racing – from the pit lane and the Formula One Paddock Club™, to the drivers’ parade and the starting grid formation.

The jury picks three winners from each challenge of the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize. The six winners will be awarded trips to the 2016 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in October, where the jury will announce the Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize is acheque for $50,000 and a bespoke trophy. A full brief for the second F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge can be downloaded from the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize website. The closing date for the second challenge is July 27th 2016.

As the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, Tata Communications has trebled the speed of data transfer for the team, enabling real-time communications between the trackside and the team’s factory in the UK, and paving the way for the team to develop new, innovative ways to use data.

Twitter hashtag: #tatacommsf1prize

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