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December 13, 2016

Williams F1 Racing uses IOT heart rate data capture to beat rivals

Big biometric data captured through wearables is measured in Azure cloud to break records for pit stops

By Sam

Williams Martini Racing is working with Avanade on a project to exploit biometric data in order to critically analyse and improve every aspect of pit stop performance.

The project saw the racing team capture and evaluate a range of biometric data (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and peak acceleration) for key members of the pit crew to harness the power of digital to drive changes in human performance during the 2016 F1 season.

Using bio-harnesses the team says it will gain insight to the physiology behind the perfect pit stop.

It said it helped and maintain the competitive edge against their rivals after their impressive, record-breaking pit stop times in 2016.

Real-time data from individual team members was captured and uploaded to a database powered by Microsoft Azure. Multiple data sets are then processed using Microsoft Power BI data visualisation technology and displayed through Avanade’s Biometrics Analytics Dashboard.

The team’s Human Performance Specialist will use the dashboard to assess the information gathered throughout this season to gain a better understanding of the areas that need improvement to achieve consistently fast pit stops.

The team said: “For example, analysis of data gleaned from the bio-harnesses will provide insight into the physiology behind ‘the perfect pit stop’.  Further analysis will seek to discover if information from the biometric data can inform specific aspects of the individual’s fitness training objectives.”

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Bespoke performance reports could then emphasise, for example, working in a particular heart rate zone in order to reduce the cardiovascular recovery period. Initial findings are suggestive of other influential factors on performance such as stress and caffeine intake. Targeted training and other actions to improve performance will then be taken ahead of the 2017 F1 season.

Williams Martini Racing’s pit crew is already one of the strongest in the pit lane, having completed the fastest pit stop of the 2016 season at 1.92 seconds, and earning the DHL Fastest Pit Crew award at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. (Main picture)

The work with Avanade should help the team remain the pit stop pacesetter in 2017, helping its drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll to gain precious time that could improve their track position and give them a greater range of strategy options.

“Working with Avanade will enable us to continue to push the boundaries of pit stop potential and will help us use additional data streams to ensure we stay a step ahead of our rivals,” said Gemma Fisher, Human Performance Specialist for Williams Martini Racing.

“We are excited that by using Microsoft technology to capture and analyze biometric data, Williams Martini Racing will be able to further optimize its pit stops in 2017,” said Chris Miller, Global CTIO, Avanade. “By gaining a deep understanding of the complex elements involved in an F1 pit stop, the team will be able to boost individual performance to achieve an important competitive milestone.”

The biometrics work with Williams is an example of how Avanade is helping businesses develop a connected IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem to maximise business value by combining IoT operational technologies with business information.

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“Time is truly of the essence when it comes to pit stops in F1. It is great to see a company like Williams Martini Racing embrace technology from Microsoft to capture and analyze biometric data, to enhance their pit stop performance in the 2017 season and maintain a competitive edge,” said Chris Miller, Global CTIO, Avanade.

Avanade has been working with Williams Martini Racing since January 2015, helping the organisation with its digital transformation efforts. Williams is making investments to create a digital workplace at its factory in Grove, Oxfordshire and at each circuit it visits during the racing season. Avanade also constructed the team’s new website ahead of the 2016 season and developed a tyre optimisation tool for analyzing car performance.

Avanade was formed as a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft in 2000. It employed has 29,000 ‘digitally connected’ people across 23 countries.

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