Go-ahead for a milestone: All 21 km of the Nordschleife are to be equipped with a digital infrastructure. EUR 11 million is being invested by the Nürburgring operating company to take safety on the world’s most challenging race track into the future.
This is to benefit all users – from private drivers during tourist drive sessions and test drivers of the Industry Pool to racing drivers at various events. From the 2025 season, the new infrastructure is to be operational around the race track and use camera technology and artificial intelligence to seamlessly monitor the entire race track.
The digitalisation measure, for which construction work will start this winter, is one of the most comprehensive construction projects in the almost 100-year history of the Nürburgring. Over the next two years, a completely new infrastructure will be built around the 21 km race track. Foundations will be laid and storm-proof masts erected to carry special HD cameras. At the same time, earthworks for laying fibre optic and power cables will take place along the entire track. In addition, so-called off-grid systems for power supply will be set up and LED panels for digital warning signals will be installed.
When construction is completed, one of the world’s most comprehensive race track safety systems is to be launched. To this end, the crucial practical experience for the project has been gathered over the past two years in the test cluster “Döttinger Höhe”, the 2.8 km stretch of the Nordschleife between the Galgenkopf section and the Grand Prix track – and developed in collaboration with the IT group Fujitsu based on artificial intelligence (AI).
The AI is what makes it possible in the first place to operate the digital safety system on the planned scale. It is designed to detect hazards, accidents and other unscheduled events on the track and support the operations control team in taking immediate action. In the future, it is to automatically warn following traffic of dangerous situations via the LED panels. In addition to the standard procedure of radio messages by the marshals, all images and information will in future be transmitted directly to the operations control centre through some 50 km of fibre optic cables. Here, staff will decide on further measures – this can be done in a matter of seconds because they have direct insight into what is happening for the first time.
The new system is scheduled to be in operation as of 2025. Until then, a lot remains to be done within two years and two construction phases. Beyond the construction measures, the artificial intelligence will be continuously refined in live operation and adapted to the peculiarities of the Nordschleife.
Extensive information to be provided at press conference 2023:
Nürburgring 1927 GmbH & Co. KG will report on the state of work and the future use of the digital system at a press conference in March 2023. Further information will follow.
About the development of the artificial intelligence
The artificial intelligence for controlling the track monitoring at the Nürburgring is being developed in cooperation with Fujitsu. It has already completed extensive training for practical operations, learning to correctly identify various components of the race track, such as “track”, “grass”, “gravel” and “guardrails”, as well as the vehicles. It also learned to differentiate between various special occurrences, such as rain or shadows, dirt on the track, objects or living beings. The data is collected in real time and immediately transferred to a system that is able to initiate further steps, alerts and warnings.