Covering 200 laps for a total of 500 miles, the Indy 500 is part of the IndyCar Series, the highest class of regional North American open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars. Superior details and data analytics can make all the difference in this grueling race where 33 cars compete for the championship. So it felt natural for Deloitte to form a technical partnership with Takuma Sato, IndyCar Series racing driver and two-time Indy 500 winner, after collaborating with his team on various forms of data analysis and performance measurement and enhancement.
Motorsports is a trailblazer in its use of digital technology to increase competitive advantage and performance. With a wealth of data for analysis—including lap time, position, brake temperature, throttle, tire temperature, and ride height—it is imperative to assimilate and assess real-time data to make adjustments for top performance. Any edge a driver can gain to safely navigate his competition and propel his team to victory is worth the investment.
Combing through the vast amount of data, however, can be daunting, especially under the time pressure of a race and with limited staffing. Automating routine analysis into easily recognized patterns or helpful, performance-enhancing decision points is challenging without the right help.
The Deloitte Japan division promotes experiential technology solutions, develops original digital assets by assimilating data, and creates new value for its clients. By building a custom data and analytics platform powered by cloud-based AWS (Amazon Web Services), Deloitte expanded its onsite technical support during races to help interpret data not only for Takuma Sato’s car, but also in comparison with faster cars in order to fine-tune settings for optimal performance.
Akito Takei, managing director on the Deloitte Japan division, believes “the project with Takuma Sato is not only a great representation of our digital capabilities, but a first step toward making inroads in digital utilization in the areas of brain data research, next-generation athlete development, game spectator experience improvement, and green transformation.”
Having used digital technology to analyze race data, vehicle and engine data, and driver physical data to enhance race performance, Deloitte hopes to deepen and refine its data analysis capabilities to expand application from motorsports to connected services, automated driving technology, mobility services, and new spectator experiences using VR.
In addition to the data analysis project, Deloitte Japan division is collaborating in an academic capacity with a Japanese national brain research institute to analyze the brain activity of top athletes while driving. Deloitte Japan division hopes the research will contribute to society by leading to next-generation athletic training, the development of dementia prevention, and more.
Recognizing the impact digital technology can have across multiple industries and applications in ancillary areas, Deloitte is poised to help other teams successfully cross the finish line.