The Nurburgring is set to undergo a major digital upgrade. A total of 11 million euros ($12 million) is being invested by the Nurburgring operating company to improve vehicle safety and bring the track into the future.
The comprehensive upgrade will benefit all users of the track, including private drivers during tourist drive sessions, test drivers in the Industry Pool, and racing drivers during various events. The new infrastructure, set to be operational by 2025, will use camera technology and artificial intelligence to monitor the entire 13-mile (21-kilometer) race track.
Construction for the upgrade will begin this winter, and it is one of the most comprehensive construction projects in the almost 100-year history of the Nurburgring.
Over the next two years, a completely new infrastructure will be built around the race track, including foundations for storm-proof masts to carry special HD cameras, earthworks for laying fiber optic and power cables, and off-grid systems for power supply. LED panels for digital warning signals will also be installed.
The AI-based system will be able 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 will 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 be transmitted directly to the operations control center through fiber optic cables, allowing staff to decide on further measures in a matter of seconds. The AI will be continuously refined and adapted to the track during live operation.
At this point, most of us should be aware that the Nurburgring is one of the world’s most challenging and treacherous race tracks. So much so that there are a number of YouTube channels that are dedicated to capturing crashes from the track, even putting annual compilations of the best ones. The upgrades are expected to reduce the number of accidents on the said track.