Sports in the Next Century are Going to Have a Major Overhaul and We Might just be Getting a Glimpse of that Now with Drone Racing.
The FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl, NASCAR, Formula 1, the Olympic Games, and MotoGP to name just a few, are popular sport events that take place on our planet, Earth. These are events that are watched in full stadiums and are followed by millions of fans on the screens. These are huge events with lots of media attentions, billions in corporate sponsors and enormously endorsed by virtually every big name in celebrity circles. Almost joining this special list of huge sporting events; is the Drone Racing League (DRL). Surprised? Better be, here is why.
For Star Wars fanatics, understanding what DRL exactly entails may be quite an easy and thrilling adventure given their connection and experience with the galactic, pod racing, which is probably the most popular and riskiest racing sports in Star Wars. Now, imagine watching a league (in this case; the DRL) where racers dash at more than 70mph around tight bends and constricted straight ways vying for a spot against other racers for the finish line. Like in the case of other major sporting events, you have your favorite racer, who this time round, unfortunately cuts too tight on the final corner and crashes into the wall; thus is far-fetched damaged and unable to complete the race.
It may sound horrible, but the truth is, your favorite racer- just like the other racers- is simply piloting drones and the fans are watching the race from its onboard camera. As futuristic as it may sound, the DRL has announced its inaugural season, hoping that it will be the Formula 1, MotoGP and NASCAR of drone racing. This follows the inaugural U.S. national droning championship that was held last summer in California. Even though few fans went out to watch it, these numbers may increase after the league secured sponsorships from venture capitalists and endorsements from a number of celebrities.
While DRL may not be able to provide live viewing at least for now, that did not stop the league’s first official race from taking place in a closed-door Dolphin’s stadium. For now, the league will only produce a series of episodic clips of the races until they are able to provide live feeds as it is done in other sporting events.
In its website, the DRL describes its pilots as; “The few, proud and slightly crazy DRL drone jockeys who represent the very best in the world”. Perhaps, these are the racers who are to lead drone racing (which feels like Star Wars’ pod racing, albeit with less noise) into the first futuristic sport of the 21st century.