Race against the IndyCar pros with fan app from DXC and Team Penske

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It’s one thing to play a race car simulation game or to watch an IndyCar Series race on television. But what if you could enter your own car in a simulation and compete against professional drivers in an actual race in real time?

That’s the exciting concept behind a new fan engagement app that was built by a development team at DXC Technology’s Digital Transformation Center (DTC) in New Orleans in conjunction with Team Penske. The web-based app – DXC Drive – will be launched at the DXC Technology 600 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8.

Race fans can sign up for the app here. They will be able to register a car name, personalize their vehicle, and then essentially step into the role of driver and pit crew chief. And it all happens in real time, so a fan can actually see their car, depicted as a colored dot on the app’s dashboard, circling the track in relation to the other cars in the race. It’s even theoretically possible, though not likely, that a fan could beat Simon Pagenaud, the Team Penske driver who won the 2019 Indy 500.

DXC Drive IndyCar fan app

As the race progresses, the dashboard provides real-time information on laps completed, position of the car, lap speed, laps since the last pit stop, fuel level and tire wear. Based on that data, fans control the fuel map switch with the goal of coaxing the best performance out of their car.

The app was developed in close collaboration with Team Penske, which has a longstanding partnership with DXC. It’s not a racing or gaming app that requires driving skills such as steering or braking; it’s a strategy engagement app that treats the race more as a chess match that rewards fans who are able to balance aggressiveness with fuel conservation, just like the real drivers.

Team DXC races to complete app

The idea for DXC Drive came out of a brainstorming session between DXC and Team Penske on the connection between analytics and sports. The Penske team was looking for a way to use technologies like AI to boost fan engagement and also to help the team gain intelligence to improve their own race performance.

Executives from DXC and Penske gave the green light to the concept of the fan app, and the DXC development team in New Orleans went into high gear, working to an Agile development methodology. The initial group of five developers was expanded to include a dozen people, tapping into DXC’s deep bench of available talent at the NOLA DTC. The team held daily standups with Penske, and showcased multiple demos which provided valuable feedback that developers could use to make updates in real-time. This high-octane approach to app development enabled the team to deliver the first prototype in just a few weeks.

Sports and technology come together

DXC Drive not only provides a fan experience enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), it gives Team Penske access to an additional set of data, based on the strategies and performance of the fans, that could translate into improved racing performance for the real drivers.

In a broader sense, technology is changing sports both in how teams and athletes perform and how fans experience sporting events. Fans want immersive and personalized experiences and the new DXC/Team Penske app is a great example of what sports fans can look forward to in the future.

Anastasia Aubrey is a Scrum Master at DXC Technology’s Digital Transformation Center in New Orleans. She has been a dedicated Scrum Master for over five years and has managed teams that have created a multitude of Web-based and mobile applications. Anastasia started her career in technology as a hardware technician and taught herself her first programming language. She says that working on the DXC Fan App Beta was breath of fresh air, describing the app as both fun and interactive.

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