MotoGP 2017: Ducati hopes machine learning will return its new bike to winning ways

The Internet of Things might be the next big thing for our homes, but it’s beginning to play a bigger role in motorsport too. After announcing an IoT-based partnership with Williams earlier this year, Accenture has now announced it will be helping the Ducati MotoGP team develop its 2017 challenger and hopefully return the team to winning ways.

MotoGP 2017: Ducati hopes machine learning will return its new bike to winning ways

Accenture’s latest project involves two of the most important parts of vehicle development – simulations and data collection – and combines them both to make R&D an even faster, more intuitive process.

During testing at least, bikes have around 100 IoT sensors onboard, measuring everything from tyre temperature to oil pressure and much more, and after each run, engineers must sift through the numbers, and work out what to do next.


Simply put, Accenture’s Integrated Machine Learning software essentially works by learning real-world data, and then producing its own educated predictions. That way, the Ducati team can roughly predict what will work and what won’t work on their bike, meaning they can always take the right direction in setup and development – without wasting precious track time.

“We’ve been able to apply machine learning integrated with IoT sensor data, to help minimise the time, expense and effort of traditional on-track testing,” added Marco Vernocchi, EALA Lead of Accenture Analytics, part of Accenture Digital. Ultimately, we hope this innovative solution will help the Ducati Team stay ahead in every race they compete in.”


Of course, this is an ongoing feedback loop, so the more running the bikes do on the track, the more accurate and informed Accenture’s software becomes. “There are 18 MotoGP tracks, and to make sure our bikes perform to their limit, we need to test as many configurations and scenarios as possible,” said Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse’s general manager.


“The ability to use existing and new testing data will help us choose the optimal configuration for our bikes. This innovative tool will make our testing a more intelligent process, helping us get the best performance from our bikes, whatever the weather or the track.”

A new route for Ducati

F1 has always been out in front with its use of cutting-edge tech, and it looks like MotoGP is beginning to catch up. However, this technology could be huge for Ducati especially. Back in 2007, the Ducati team won its only championship with Australian Casey Stoner, and since then, the team has experienced something of a winning draught.presentazione-team_04_gallery_1920x1080

The Ducati has always been one of the fastest bikes in a straight line – so it’s not the engine. Instead, the last few Ducati bikes have been unstable under braking and in corners, and often difficult to set up – and it’s possible this software could remove that problem entirely.

By making it easier for Ducati’s engineers to work out the best way to set up their bike, Accenture’s new software could allow the team to maximise their track time, and possibly propel its riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso to the top step.

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