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Racing Through 2020: Penske Chooses Hitachi Vantara for COVID-19 Precautions

Brad Surak
Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Hitachi Vantara

October 01, 2020

For the 2020 motorsports season, getting to the starting line has been just as challenging as reaching the checkered flag. COVID-19 has introduced a litany of new challenges for drivers, teams and all of the behind-the-scenes staff who play a role in ensuring that “the race must go on.”

As part of Penske’s COVID-19 response strategy, the organization’s precautionary measures include the use of Hitachi Vantara’s Lumada Smart Spaces technology. More specifically, temperature detection units have been placed throughout limited Penske facilities to ensure all team personnel and executives entering restricted areas do not have elevated body temperatures.

Elevated temperature detection alone will not prevent the spread of this deadly virus. It is, however, a perfect example of how connected technologies can simplify, automate and enhance response capabilities that accelerate a return to normal. Advanced video analytics, thermal detection sensors and 3D lidar are all tools that can be deployed in unique, purpose-built configurations to assist in a wide variety of health, safety and environment challenges.


Beyond the Checkered Flag

As I have written before, we may look back on the pandemic as a crisis that accelerates the digital transformation of work, life, education and entertainment. Today, in the motorsports world, we’re proud to be contributing to the health and safety of racers and teams. In the future, when fans return to arenas, similar computer video technology could be used to enhance fan safety or to reduce wait times at entrances or concessions. It could even smooth their arrival and departure from their favorite sporting venues by sharing anonymized crowd movement information to providers of transportation services.

There are so many ways in which Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can enable organizations to create new value by better understanding patterns and habits, and solving problems in the moment.

What the future holds remains uncertain – in racing and in life – but we will do all we can to keep racers on the track and streaming live into your living rooms. We wish all of the team at Penske the very best this season – we’ll certainly be cheering for a win at the upcoming INDYCAR Harvest GP October 2-3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway!!

Brad Surak

Brad Surak is Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Hitachi Vantara.