Microsoft has become a technology partner of both motorsports governing body National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and race team Hendrick Motorsports.
As part of the new multi-year agreements, Microsoft will provide both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports with access to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and Windows 10 operating system, which will launch on 29 July. This will enable them to deliver technology solutions that will help improve performance on and off the track.
“Partnering with a global leader like Microsoft heightens our commitment to drive innovation and adopt state-of-the-art technologies across our sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer. “As we look to the future, we’re excited at the prospect of developing new applications and leveraging Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure services that will make our sport more competitive, exciting, and accessible to fans.”
Microsoft and NASCAR first collaborated in 2014 to develop a Windows mobile inspection application to halve safety inspections of cars before races and enable officials to monitor each race car in real time.
NASCAR will use Azure to analyse data, while using Windows 10 will enable it to run one code base for apps across all types of devices and race operations. This will provide officials with the ability to move around the track, rather than being confined to one location.
“NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports are perpetual innovators in motorsports,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Developer Experience and Evangelism at Microsoft. “This sport demands constant innovation, to have its boundaries pushed, so that the sport delivers the exciting experiences expected by fans. The Windows mobile inspection application we launched last year is a great example of how innovative solutions can push boundaries and make the racing experience even better.”
Hendrick Motorsports’ team will be able to capture and analyse terabytes of data and run simulations in Azure to make better decisions on tyre wear, fuel consumption and chassis and car setups. The team will also build Windows 10 universal apps that will connect the track-based crew chief and engineers to the engineers at the race team’s shop.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will use two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt as a spokesperson to promote Windows 10.
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