Indianapolis is one of the first cities in the United States to pilot 5G wireless services and now the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will become the first motorsports facility with the capability.
The first Indy 500 with Roger Penske as owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is less than 100 days away.
Upgrades are well underway, including Verizon installing 5G infrastructure around the track. The services will be available to fans, IMS officials and race teams in an effort to help share data as fast as possible.
IMS President Doug Boles says the upgrade is another way the track makes history.
“The track was built in 1909 as a way to test the technology of the day which was the automobile, so being involved in this new cutting edge technology at the Speedway really fits with-really important to our DNA,” says Boles.
He says it also will give Verizon a chance to test the technology in a highly populated and contained space.
Since the sale was announced last year, there has been discussion of improving the consumer's experience at the track for the upcoming race.
One of the changes comes in the Last Row Shootout. Drivers will again get multiple tries to qualify for the last three spots. In previous years, racers may have only been given one attempt, but the new format sets the clock to 75 minutes for as many attempts as drivers can make.
Penske says it will enhance the race and make the shootout more exciting.
“And I think that’s going to make a big difference when you think about NBC also adding additional hours to our race weekend and our qualifying weekends,” says Penske.
Other upgrades include increased speeds of the cars, an increased purse, and more seating and screens around the track for guests.