Formula One (FWONK) is in Miami this weekend, and something you would not think is lurking behind the fast cars, celebrity drivers, and huge stakes: machine learning.
Machine learning has proven critical to teams’ on-track performance, but its applications in the sport go well beyond that. According to Dr. Priya Ponnapalli, director and lead scientist at the Amazon (AMZN) Web Services (AWS) Machine Learning Solutions Lab, machine learning is now being utilized to improve fan engagement experiences.
She told Yahoo Finance, “We’re fueling many innovations on and off the track, ranging from how Formula 1 gathers, tracks, and analyzes the data they have.” “We use machine learning to create ‘F1 Insights,’ which help fans learn while having fun.”
Both AWS and Ponnapalli previously worked with Ferrari and are now the sport’s certified cloud service and machine learning providers. AWS is also Ferrari’s official cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence supplier, according to a separate arrangement.
Formula One is a ‘real – time’ sport.
Ponnapalli, who holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and previously taught at Rutgers Business School, has worked on a range of projects involving sports and machine learning. These initiatives have included the National Hockey League and the National Football League, as well as the Tokyo Olympics, when she and her colleagues assisted the Australian swimming team with relay plan optimization.
Ponnapalli described Formula 1 as a “very data-rich sport,” noting that each F1 car has over 300 million sensors that generate roughly 1.1 million data points each second. These data points are critical in a sport where leads are fleeting and falls are always a possibility.
Take Ferrari, for example: despite finishing third in the 2021 Constructors Championship, the team is presently leading the drive for that coveted team accolade. Ponnapalli noted that the team’s return to success has corresponded with a greater collaboration with AWS.
Furthermore, 24-year-old Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who has been in Formula One since 2018, presently leads the driver rankings for 2022.
“They’re conducting extensive simulations to measure automobile performance in a range of driving situations and racing scenarios,” she explained.
After the introduction of the Netflix (NFLX) series “Drive to Survive,” which chronicles the characters, dramas, and technological advances of Formula 1, the sport’s popularity among a larger audience grew. Netflix has announced that the programme would be renewed for two more seasons.