Sven Löffler
21. October 2015 0

Big Data in motorsports and cycling races

In 2015, the Tour de France and the Formula 1 are not anymore single disciplines. High complex Big Data Technologies are used, which have to be operated by several IT experts. For the first time this year the audience of the Tour de France had access to live information about the position and speed on the internet.

Formula IT

The information technology has reached a very special place in the premier league of motorsports. The cars are equipped with more than 200 sensors that send data permanently. This unprocessed data must be processed by data specialists with appropriate Big Data tools, data aggregation and analysis are required. The data specialists can create forecasts from the information and thus optimize the driver’s tactics. Such a project requires a appropriate equipment: emergency power supply, cloud backup and supercomputers are of essential importance.

Tour de Big Data

But even in cycling, highly innovative technologies come into operation. At this year’s Tour de France for the first time Big Data analysis were performed live on the internet. Each bike was equipped with live trackers under the saddle. These trackers generated data, which was transferred to a central platform and then analyzed. On a live tracking website, the data was visualized for the spectators in real time. Thus, the fans were able to receive independently information about their favorite athletes, various teams, positions and speed as well as the distance between the cyclists. Commentators, broadcasters and media were able to follow each of the 198 cyclists as well. But also for the sports science the collected data enables entirely new insights. You learn how the wind affects the speed or even how drivers prepare for a sprint finish.

E-Bike: BULLS Sturmvogel E Evo

But also for amateur athletes intelligent bikes are already available. On the Euro Bike 2014, the Telekom announced the first collaboration in the field of “networked bike” with the bicycle manufacturer Canyon Bicycles.

At this year’s Euro Bike Telekom also presented the networked electric bicycle “BULLS Sturmvogel E Evo” together with the bicycle manufacturer BULLS and the e-bike system manufacturer Brose. The bike has an on-board unit (OBU), which is equipped with a SIM card, a miniature processor (microcontroller), a Bluetooth interface, a motion sensor and a GPS module.
BULLS Sturmvogel E Evo

These components can send information about battery life and location through the mobile network into a highly secure data center of T-Systems and then to a smartphone app. In addition, various sensors detect the wear of the brakes, the engine and further components in the future. Also the built-in motion sensor registers unusually rapid braking and extreme slopes of the wheel. In such a case, the bike checks if the user is fine by showing an according message on the connected display. If the driver does not react and the bike does not continue to move, an SMS will be sent with tracking data to a particular person.
The bike was presented on the Euro Bike in Friedrichshafen from the 26th to 29th of August. More information is available under

Big Data Greetings,
Sven Löffler

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