Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ferrari Revs Up the Performance of Its Sports Cars and Racing Team with AWS Cloud Services 

Ferrari, the legendary Italian sports car builder with some 239 race victories in Formula 1, has signed a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bolster the performance and design of its exotic racing and street cars by taking advantage of the global computing power of the AWS cloud.

Because racing is won or lost by fractions of seconds, high-performance computing and detailed data analysis have become critical, must-have tools for racing teams in motorsports, from F1 to NASCAR, motorcycle racing and everything in between.

In its new cloud partnership with AWS, the company's Scuderia Ferrari racing team and the Ferrari S.p.A. factory will use a wide range of AWS cloud platforms to improve, rework and re-engineer its cars, create a new digital fan engagement platform and more, all aimed at helping the company and its cars better compete on the world stage. Under the deal, AWS will be Ferrari's official cloud, machine learning and AI provider, giving the automaker new technology tools to expand the performance potential of its vehicles.

The goal of the partnership is to better enable it to become a more data-driven organization to improve its products and better engage with Ferrari's fans, Mattia Binotto, the principal of Scuderia Ferrari, said in a statement.

“We chose AWS because of their relentless focus on innovation, unmatched portfolio of capabilities and proven experience supporting partners in the automotive and sports industries," said Binotto. "Throughout our storied history, Ferrari has had racing and innovation at our core, and now we look forward to applying AWS machine learning, advanced analytics and high performance computing across the company to deliver deeper insights and even more powerful cars.”

Under the relationship, Ferrari will take advantage of AWS’s advanced analytics, machine learning, compute, storage and database capabilities to deliver faster and better engineering insights into car design and performance on the road and track, according to the companies. As part of that, Ferrari will leverage Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and AWS Graviton2-based instances to run complex simulations that test car performance under a wide variety of driving conditions and racing scenarios.

Ferrari F8 Tributo, Image courtesy: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

And by using the wide range of AWS HPC resources that will be available under the deal, Ferrari will be able to run thousands of simulations concurrently in the cloud to gain insights more quickly than it has been able to obtain in the past using on-premises systems. With these advancements, the company’s engineers will have new resources to pursue an agile approach to experimentation as they seek new designs and strategies to further improve the company's racing and street cars.

Also available to Ferrari will be AWS analytics and Amazon SageMaker services, which help developers and data scientists build, train and deploy machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge. With these tools, engineers will be able to see how their designs, parts and cars perform under real world conditions.

To help in those tasks, Ferrari will build a data lake with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and use AWS Lake Formation to quickly and securely gather, catalog, and clean hundreds of petabytes of data. This will allow Ferrari will examine factors that impact car performance and driver handling, such as engine temperature at various vehicle speeds, vehicle vibration patterns on different road surfaces and suspension loads that affect how the vehicle grips the road.

Ferrari will also use AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and Amazon DynamoDB (a fully managed key-value database), to make it easier for customers to build, purchase and maintain their Ferrari automobiles.

The upcoming new digital fan engagement platform that will be built on AWS by Scuderia Ferrari will broaden the company's availability to millions of fans via a mobile app and other resources which will be able to deliver exclusive and personalized content.

“AWS offers iconic global brands like Ferrari the breadth of services, insights and agility they need to remain leaders in their fields through innovation and deepen their connections to loyal customers and fans,” Matt Garman, the senior vice president of sales and marketing for AWS, said in a statement. "What’s more, as their official cloud provider, we look forward to helping Scuderia Ferrari maintain their record as the world’s greatest racing team.”

An AWS spokesperson could not be reached for comment by EnterpriseAI.

Rob Enderle, analyst

Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group, said that the deal between Ferrari and AWS gives the supercar company several important tools.

"The advantage to using the cloud is that the related data and files are available anyplace you can connect to AWS," said Enderle. "This way, folks capturing data at the track can easily share and collaborate with those working anyplace else in the world like at the factory, race operations or remote support."

Laptops and other computing hardware do not hold up well in racing, testing and design situations due to vibration and hostile physical environments, but if that data is in the cloud, individual machines no longer matter, he said. "If a laptop fails because it can be replaced and another laptop can instantly pick up where the last effort left off. The result is a more resilient solution that assures, regardless of the condition of local hardware, that data on the cars, race and drivers is available to anyone who needs it, regardless of their location. This relationship also removes much of the overhead associated with the infrastructure that would otherwise be required for an equally secure and robust solution."

The Ferrari AWS technology deal is not unique in motorsports in 2021. In March, the Red Bull Honda F1 team partnered with Oracle for its own cloud computing needs, while the Ducati motorcycle racing team has had an official technology partner relationship with Lenovo since 2018.

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