Fujitsu transforms the safety of Nürburgring racetracks with artificial intelligence

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Current facts:
– Fujitsu has started to develop and deploy a system that links artificial intelligence track cameras to increase safety at the Nürburgring
– The initial deployment involves 2.8 km of the legendary Nordschleife section of track – where previously only radio contact with marshals ensured safety. If the AI ​​detects a potential problem, the relevant triggers are sent to RaceControl – and oncoming traffic is notified via screens at the edge of the track

MUNICH, July 14, 2021 – (JCN Newswire) – In the future, the Nürburgring circuit could benefit from advanced safety features powered by artificial intelligence thanks to Fujitsu. A complex deployment of HD cameras, real-time AI analysis and instant warning systems mean RaceControl and the pilots can be immediately informed of incidents on this difficult section of track – dubbed the green hell by the pilot. of Formula 1 Sir Jackie Stewart.

The iconic Nordschleife (North Loop) is the more famous of the two racetracks on the Nürburgring. The 20.8 kilometer track has a total of 73 turns, including blind turns, steep drops and drops – and is therefore considered by many to be one of the most difficult in the world. Historically, in the event of an incident, such as a vehicle leaving the track, the race marshals relied on radio and communication with the marshals on the track to relay information to RaceControl and make decisions. Unlike the Grand Prix circuit, the Nordschleife has not yet been fitted with cameras and is therefore out of the sight of RaceControl. This meant that it was often difficult to assess and react to problems quickly – and with up to several hundred vehicles on the track simultaneously, the stakes are high in making the right choice.

Deployment begins with a 2.8 km test section at Doettinger Hoehe

The phased deployment plan for this ambitious track digitization project started with a 2.8 km test section known as “Doettinger Hoehe” with the installation of eight HD cameras by the Nürburgring. In addition to the existing camera infrastructure on the Grand Prix circuit, coverage of the entire Nordschleife will require more than 100 cameras. However, the large number of cameras means that the circuit cannot easily be reliably monitored by humans. The Fujitsu solution is based on cameras installed by the Nürburgring, connected to RaceControl via fiber optic cables. To support the decision-making process, Fujitsu is developing an artificial intelligence system that leverages AI to monitor all video streams in real time and signal any potential dangers it identifies. When potential issues are detected, the system instantly notifies RaceControl and switches to the relevant video streams while simultaneously providing the ability to notify oncoming traffic, for example by using LED screens at the edge of the runway.

Joern Nitschmann, Head of Manufacturing and Automotive for Central Europe at Fujitsu, comments: “The Nürburgring has a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to navigate, hence the saying ‘Everyone praises of what the Nürburgring is testing ”. This project certainly presented a few challenges – including the need for continuous power and bandwidth in the midst of the Eifel mountains. However, the racing safety expertise of the Nürburgring, combined with our experience in specification, development and installing complex AI solutions, turned out to be the perfect co-creation team. transforms the security of this notoriously difficult racetrack, leveraging digital transformation expertise proven in other industries. “

Mirco Markfort, Managing Director of the Nuerburgring, says: “Racing events have been taking place at the Nuerburgring Nordschleife for almost a hundred years, and we have invested heavily over the years to maximize the safety of the thousands of drivers who test their skills here every year. . Thanks to our cooperation with Fujitsu, drivers will be safer than ever. Not only do we have visibility over portions of the track for the first time, but artificial intelligence can also generate automated notifications in real time. The first live test of the infrastructure track was at the legendary 24 hour endurance race held in early June. We are now collecting data from the testing industry and continue to develop the solution based on that information. We also plan to develop and deploy this revolutionary technology to the rest of the track. “

Fujitsu continues to develop the AI ​​system – teaching it to recognize vehicles and identify different parts of the track and the immediate surroundings, including gravel, grass and guardrails. The AI ​​is also trained to detect anomalies on the runway, such as oil, dirt or debris, and to deal with weather conditions such as rain or shadows.

For more information, visit bit.ly/2VLqlbT.

Source: Fujitsu Ltd

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