Tour de France adds ChatGPT and digital twin tech. Here's how and why

Organizers hope AI and IoT will upgrade the fan experience.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Bikers racing at the Tour de France
Getty Images/Dario Belingheri/Stringer

The Tour de France is one the most prestigious bicycle races in the world, attracting millions of viewers every year. This year the viewing experience is getting a massive upgrade by leveraging the latest tech including IoT, edge computing, and generative AI. 

NTT, the IT and services company, has been the Tour de France's partner for the last nine years. This year it is raising the bar by creating "the world's largest connected stadium" and incorporating ChatGPT

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The "connected stadium" sets up a digital twin of the race that will use real-time data to digitally replicate all aspects of the race, allowing the Tour de France to be an entirely digitized event. 

The digital twin will be used to help give the event's organizer, the Amaury Sports Organization, a better understanding of what is going on at the event, helping to ensure smooth operations. 

NTT will gather data on the bikes using geolocation and tiny sensors mounted underneath the saddle of each bike. 

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Using this technology, the NTT will receive a constant stream of latitude, longitude, speed, and other data from those sensors. This data will be transmitted over radio networks to race vehicles before a microwave signal will carry the data to the end of the race. There, an edge-computing device will run a "containerized version" of a real-time analytics platform, according to the release

In addition, ChatGPT will be integrated into NTT's AI-driven Digital Human solution to provide detailed, relevant race information to fans. 

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The integration, called Marianne, will use "machine learning, speech recognition, natural language processing, and conversational AI" to provide fans with comprehensive race information, according to the release. 

All of these advancements will also be applied to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, the women's counterpart race that was inaugurated last year. 

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