Earlier this month AWS announced that it secured Formula One (F1), an industry worth over £1 billion annually, as a major new client. Not to be outdone, Alibaba Cloud today announced that it had teamed up with former F1 world champion Fernando Alonso to help expand his nascent Chinese karting business.
The company will use its analytics capabilities to help train karting drivers and work towards developing a fully autonomous and unmanned kart factory in China.
The comparison with F1 may be an unlikely – and faintly facetious – one, but China has seen a surge in interest in motorsports in recent years and what one AFP report describes as an “explosion” in kids’ karting event; Alibaba Cloud clearly sees an opportunity to get in early in a rapidly growing sector.
The company added: “This could help team managers, coaches and players gather deeper knowledge about their performance instantaneously and design training programs to accommodate for the unique physique of each individual. The improved efficiency and quality of training will help foster the next generation of Chinese karting racers as well as racers worldwide.”
Alonso, a two-time Grand Prix winner, started karting aged three.
Very important day for FA Karting School. Very proud to partner with @AlibabaGroup . Alibaba Cloud will be a huge boost for our program, with their smart-manufacturing capabilities, including cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence. Future drivers will be benefit ✊️ https://t.co/2bTfoVxdw3
Alibaba Cloud and Fernando Alonso’s China partner will co-launch a big data crowd intelligence platform that brings together global data experts to tap karting data to help them “discover the next Alonso”.
Yeming Wang, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe said: “The sports industry has been increasingly applying cloud technologies in many ways, across areas such as wearable devices, training, tactical decision making, game operation as well as venue management. Alibaba Cloud strongly believes in the potential of technology to empower sports, which is why we are excited to work with Mr. Alonso, who has inspired a lot of people in China to participate in karting.”
He added: “By leveraging our strong cloud, AI and IoT capabilities, karting lovers and operators in China will benefit from more effective training programs and smarter facilities, which will also play a part in helping to grow the sport in China.”