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Nascar adopts AWS machine learning and AI

Steve Rogerson
June 11, 2019

US motorsport body Nascar has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its standard for cloud-based machine learning and artificial intelligence workloads.
Nascar will use AWS technologies to build cloud-based services and automate processes, including a new video series on called This Moment in Nascar History powered by AWS. The video series will debut heading into the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, sharing the historical moments in Nascar racing with viewers.
Nascar is migrating its 18Pbyte video archive to AWS, and will leverage Amazon Rekognition – an AWS service that adds intelligent image and video analysis to applications – to tag specific video frames automatically with metadata, such as driver, car, race, lap, time and sponsors so they can search those tags to find moments from past races.
By using AWS’s services, Nascar expects to save thousands of hours of manual search time each year, and will be able to surface flashbacks such as Dale Earnhardt Senior’s 1987 Pass in the Grass or Denny Hamlin’s 2016 Daytona 500 photo finish, and quickly deliver these to fans via video clips on and social media channels.
“Speed and efficiency are key in racing and business which is why we chose AWS – the cloud with unmatched performance, the most comprehensive set of services and the fastest pace of innovation – to accelerate our migration to the cloud,” said Craig Neeb, executive vice president of Nascar. “Leveraging AWS to power our new video series gives our highly engaged fans a historical look at our sport while providing a sneak peek at the initial results of this exciting collaboration.”
Nascar will leverage AWS services to enhance its media assets including web sites, mobile applications and social properties for its 80 million fans worldwide. Nascar plans to use Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models against 70 years of historical footage to enhance metadata and video analytics.
With Amazon Transcribe, an automatic speech recognition service, Nascar will be able to caption and time stamp every word of speech within archived videos so Nascar video producers can easily locate source footage via text searches.
In addition, Nascar will use AWS Media Services, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and Elemental MediaStore, to support Nascar Drive, which puts fans in the driver’s seat using in-car cameras, live audio and live leaderboards. These services let Nascar process, package and store broadcast video content, including live races, for delivery to broadcast and industry partners.
 “Amazon’s 20 years of machine learning experience, along with our broad analytics and machine learning capabilities, make us the best choice for organisations who want to use machine learning to gain insights into their data and establish new levels of engagement with their customers,” said Mike Clayville, vice president at AWS. “Nascar is utilising cloud technology to enhance the way people experience the sport and deliver even more impactful content to fans. AWS’s unmatched portfolio of cloud services gives Nascar the most flexible and powerful tools to bring new elements of the sport to live broadcasts of races.”
AWS has announced the general availability of Amazon Personalize, bringing the same machine learning technology used by to AWS customers for use in their applications, with no machine learning experience required.
Amazon Personalize makes it easier to develop applications with a wide array of personalisation use cases, including specific product recommendations, individualised search results and customised direct marketing. It is a fully managed service that trains, tunes and deploys custom, private machine learning models.
The service provisions the necessary infrastructure and manages the entire machine learning pipeline, including processing the data, identifying features, selecting algorithms, and training, optimising and hosting the results.