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Ferrari takes Intel racing with three-year partnership

It's more for the broadcast side than the racecars themselves.


There's more to racing than just the cars, as a new Ferrari partnership shows.

Intel announced during its keynote at CES 2018 that it is entering a three-year partnership with Ferrari North America. The two are teaming up to bring Intel's tech prowess to the Ferrari Challenge North America racing series.

While you might be wondering how Intel's chips and platforms would be integrated into a race car, the partnership actually focuses more on the secondary and tertiary parts of running a racing series. Intel will use its artificial intelligence and its Xeon Scalable platform to enhance its race broadcasts.

Now, if you're approaching turn 13 at a terrible angle, your team director can yell at you about it before the race is even over.


Intel brought up an excellent example of how it would work: Intel's AI system could analyze entry and exit angles for all the drivers on a specific corner, and it could push that data right to broadcasters to deliver to viewers. Basically, it can crunch a whole bunch of data and point out all the interesting stuff.

It's not just about the broadcast, either. The race teams themselves need to process myriad inputs and somehow turn that into suggestions to improve a driver's performance. Instead of waiting until telemetry is available after a race, Intel's tech could do real-time telemetry analysis. That way, if a driver isn't working the throttle that well in a specific corner, that driver will know before the race ends.

While you won't be seeing microchips piloting Ferrari Challenge cars any time soon, it's interesting to see how tech companies can still involve themselves in motorsports.

If you're not familiar with Ferrari Challenge, it's a one-make racing series put on by the automaker. For the low, low cost of about $300,000, you can pick up a Challenge car built to a specific spec. Each racing weekend incurs about $20,000 in operational costs, which is why dealerships run most teams and not individual privateers, but there's nothing stopping a very well heeled person from becoming a racecar driver in the Challenge series.

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