A professional pilot told us why drone racing could become the next big sport
Drone pilot Conrad Miller said there’s real potential for the Drone Racing League (DRL) to go mainstream after participating in its first race.
The DRL is a professional league that will bring together the best pilots from around the world to compete in six competitions throughout the year.
The goal? To bring the sport into the public domain and see who can snatch the title of the best drone pilot, which will occur at the World Championship at the end of the year.
Pilots are given custom-made drones that can fly at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour. The first competition took place in December in the Sun Life Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins play, and will be available for viewing February 22.
Miller was lucky enough to get an invite to the very first race. He’s a seasoned pilot hailing from Boise, Idaho who won the Las Vegas Underground FPV Drone Circuit Race in 2015.
“It was kind of unbelievable in the sense that we were at the Dolphin’s stadium and hanging out in The Nine Club and having amazing catered food brought in with the press and DRL camera crews floating around,” Miller recalled of his experience to Tech Insider.
The Nine Club is a VIP suite located at the Sun Life Stadium’s 30-yard line.
“We go to these other races and it’s a lot of sitting around and waiting, but being in Miami it was like we were in a movie set,” he continued.
Drone Racing League
The cushy treatment the pilots received is indicative of how seriously the DRL is about making the league a real sport. Pilots get to feel like their participating in a real athletic event, and the DRL camera crew works to make the games accessible to the everyday viewer.
“With all the camera work they are making it viewable because normally you can’t tell what’s going on because [the drones] are so small,” he said. “[The DRL] is doing it in third person so you can see the action I think it’ll bring it to the mainstream.”
The DRL is also filming the relationships between the pilots and their reaction to certain races so “the outside can connect to the pilots,” Miller added.
Nicholas Horbaczewski, CEO of the Drone Racing League, said he hopes people will see the DRL as an entirely new sport.
“The goal is to reach as many people as possible and make them aware of the sport,” Horbaczewski previously told Tech Insider. “There are drone racing activities in almost ever country we looked at it — it has a global footprint.”
For now, the DRL will film the events and release them online at a later date. But they hope to eventually have live broadcasts of the games, either on TV or online.