NASCAR officials have started using a new Windows 10 app from Microsoft to monitor live video feeds and transponder data from cars, giving the control booth a central place to access live data such as RPM, braking, throttling, speed, and lap split times from each vehicle, even as the cars are still screaming around the track.
The app, called Race Management, debuted at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, Calif., this weekend. It’s the latest step in a partnership between Microsoft and NASCAR. The company previously developed a Mobile Inspection app for NASCAR that streamlines the process of inspecting cars prior to the start of a race.
Microsoft’s NASCAR partnership is part of a larger effort by the company to spread its technology into key parts of the sports world, including the NFL, where Microsoft’s Surface tablets are used by players on the sidelines.
The Race Management app for NASCAR includes the ability to see the precise position and scoring data for each car, in addition to monitoring track conditions and pit stops. Previously the same data needed to be accessed across six different screens.
NASCAR is also starting to use Microsoft Azure for data storage, according to a Microsoft article on the partnership, but for short-term storage it is still using semi trucks of data centers that drive around to different tracks each week because of the challenges of Internet connectivity.
“NASCAR is one of the sports that probably generates the most data, just because of the nature of the sport – the cars have a bunch of sensors in them, there’s computers on the car, camera technology aids with other metrics,” said Anthony Morgante, a Microsoft director for sports partnerships within the company’s developer experience organization, in the Microsoft article.