This Nighttime Drone Racing Video Comes from a Very Spectacular Future

Drone racing 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
It's not hard to imagine why drone racing caught on so quickly with a lot of people, both those who are directly involved and those who only prefer to watch it. After all, it was just twenty years ago that similar scenarios were used for futuristic video games that we've all skipped school to play. And that was way before the concept of high definition graphics was invented.
When the track is built by someone who understands the unexplainable appeal that neon exerts over the majority of human beings, this drone racing can look like a strange melange between Wipeout and Tron 2.0 - a very fast-paced race with minimum margin for error and a scenery that couldn't look more out of this world if it tried.

Drone racing is already considered a sport, and when you think about the skills it involves, that description appears to be completely entitled. Also, bear in mind there's something called a Professional Gamers League that deals exclusively with computer games, complete with international tournaments and quite substantial prize money.

So why would something that, for a change, takes place in the real world not be regarded as a form of sport? The only difference between this and an aerobatic competition is that the proportion between the pilots and their aircraft is the exact opposite.

This particular clip was submitted to the GoPro Awards competition by Tony Thompson, a drone racing pilot that took place in the Phoenix Cup and, as the footage demonstrates, finished second. The video has pretty much everything - suspense, near-misses, an overtake - but it has also been enhanced with a head-up display that makes it resemble a video game even more strongly.

In the real competition, it's all about speed and finishing first, but Tony imagined what it would be like if points were also awarded for various moves. Not sure if it would add to the sport's appeal, but we could be seeing something similar in the future, once the discipline progresses.

Until then, get ready for a short but powerful dose of adrenaline. Also, a warning for those who don't do well with fast moving flashing lights: you'll get sick after a maximum of three seconds.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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