Ensuring Spectator Safety at Races Can Ensure Pedestrian Safety on Roads
Mitchell Gracie posted on March 12, 2019 |
The Toyota Yaris WRC, a World Rally Car set to compete in the FIA’s World Rally Championship. Siemens and the FIA hope to add sensors to cars such as this to provide better safety to drivers and spectators. (Image courtesy of Harpagornis/Wikimedia Commons.)
The Toyota Yaris WRC, a World Rally Car set to compete in the FIA’s World Rally Championship. Siemens and the FIA hope to add sensors to cars such as this to provide better safety to drivers and spectators. (Image courtesy of Harpagornis/Wikimedia Commons.)

Siemens and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) have announced a new partnership to improve the safety of spectators at FIA-sanctioned Rally events around the world.

The initial steps of the partnership will leverage vehicle and track side sensor-based systems at Rally races to create advanced 2D and 3D simulations, bettering the safety of drivers and spectators alike. The harvested data is to be then implemented into urban-mobility models to help with road safety beyond the races.

According to FIA and Siemens, some of the technologies to be leveraged include “rapid-fire fusion of data from vehicle sensors via custom neural networking and AI” and “intelligent infrastructure technology including X2X communications.”

“In the age of increasingly automated vehicles, racing will be an essential testbed for the automotive industry,” elaborated Edward Bernadon, vice president of strategic automotive initiatives at Siemens PLM Software.

Established in 1904 to organize the growing number of motor sports associations, the FIA is most known today as an international governing body of motor racing events while promoting road safety outside of its events.

“The FIA leads the agenda to connect motor sports and urban mobility in order to inspire change and create a transformative impact on people’s lives,” said Jean Todt, president of the FIA.

“This agreement between Siemens and the FIA on a project that involves R&D at the highest level of motor sport and urban transportation technology will enable us to make racing safer and significantly influence the development of transportation in smart cities.”

The two hope to achieve this by combining technologies from Siemens Intelligent Systems and Siemens PLM Software.

The leveraging of sensor fusion and networks, simulations, 3D mapping and modeling, image classification as well as connected vehicle technologies enable Siemens and FIA to detect locations along race tracks where spectators are most exposed to danger in the event of an accident during Rally events. This will aid in event planning as well as the implementations of preventative measures by race organizers to decrease any risks to drivers, officials or spectators.

The enormous streams of harvested data are to then be used to help with the development and training of artificial intelligences for chip-to-city infrastructures off of the racetrack.

“We look forward to working with the FIA to determine how automated and connected vehicle technologies can be leveraged to make race Rally drivers and spectators safer and applying what we learn to improve intelligent infrastructure and pedestrians’ safety in urban mobility environments,” explained Marcus Welz, president of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems in North America.

Keeping fans out of harm’s way at Rally events has always been a priority for the FIA; the racing tracks chosen for events often have areas consisting of narrow dirt passes or blind corners. Moreover, it isn’t uncommon for the stages of Rally events to exceed 20 kilometers. Purely relying on human officials to monitor and ensure the safety of the more than four million annual spectators attending Rally events is not ideal, especially during the proliferation of smaller, low-powered sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The announcement comes after a series of other partnership announcements in 2019 by Siemens PLM. In January, it unveiled the leveraging of its digital twin software by Konecranes. In February, it announced its partnership with Mentor to streamline manufacturing utilizing IoT technologies for its product lifecycle management (PLM) software. It’s an exciting time for PLM!


Recommended For You