They are racing WHAT?
While you may have heard of consumer drones getting in trouble with the FAA, finding lost people of animals or eventually being used to deliver packages to your front door, there is another subculture of drones on the rise: FPV racing. FPV stands for first person view, meaning that there is a camera in the multi rotor drone that broadcasts back the experience to the pilot's goggles (and anyone else tuning in to their channel). These hand built drones are built for speed achieving 70 miles an hour around courses custom built for racing.
FPV Drone Racing primed for potentially massive growth
Just this weekend in Atlanta, there was a drone conference and race called F3. It featured 2 different races and a "freestyle" competition judged like a skateboard contest. There are early FPV celebrities emerging with pilot names like Charpu, Mr. Steele, and Skitzo. These handles are like gamer names on Xbox or Playstation networks which is a nod to the cross over of FPV racing as somewhere between NASCAR, EGaming and the XGames.
The big race in Atlanta at F3 was an endurance race, the first endurance race held ever, and it was held in the Georgia Dome. The pilots had to run a 100 laps around a 1/4 mile loop of the lower deck of the stadium as teams fought for a purse of $5k. While it feels like early days - there is big excitement from major sponsors and broadcasters to see FPV drone racing come to life. Several companies are scrambling to be the go to FPV event creators; Drone Racing League based in NYC was created by a founder of "Tough Mudder" and partially funded by the owner of the Miami Dolphins.
Rotorsports.com Is making a big bet with a huge set of events next year in Hawaii using the same landscape as Jurassic Park to serve as the backdrop for their hopefully epic races. There are major sponsors and broadcaster circling both of these companies hoping to capitalize on the potential market.
Big things, big deals and big new FPV celebrities coming soon from the world of FPV racing.