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Without fans in the stands, Indianapolis 500 is using AI to make viewers feel they’re at the raceway

Live feed, pit predictions, and in-car video

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Fans won't physically fill the grandstands for Sunday's Indianapolis 500, but that doesn't mean viewers can't get a visceral feel for the iconic race. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and IndyCar are turning to smart technology to bring the as much of the experience to them from wherever they watch the race on August 23.

NTT is working with the two to embed sensors and other technology into the raceway and even drivers' cars, picking up details from the weather to the view inside one of the cars. Machine learning will also be used to predict drivers' next moves on the track, and also track fastest laps.

Pit zone, horizontal Fans will be able to hear live conversations between drivers and their team Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fans may not be able to see the iconic Pagoda in person, seated at the start and finish line of the race, but a 100-foot wide IMS Media Wall is going to play more than 140 data points across the LED display. Viewers will be able to see these details through the free IndyCar Mobile App, which is also where they can pick up live in-car camera videos, hear live chatter between drivers and their teams, and pick up highlights among other features.

"IndyCar and IMS have always been built on technology and innovation," said Penske Corporation Chairman Roger Penske, in a statement. "We work closely with NTT to ensure we're on top of the changing technology environment and have identified the fan experience as our top priority. While the COVID-19 pandemic will not allow us to welcome guests on-site at the Racing Capital of the World, it has further emphasized our investment in digital engagement to enhance the experience for fans viewing from around the globe."

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