BMW teams up with Drone Racing League and an old $1m drone race


I was inspired by dcr’s post yesterday on Skydio’s R1 sports drone.

I was inspired to at least go and watch some Youtube videos on the subject as it doesn’t really hold that much interest for me BUT, having said that, the specific idea of a sporty-me-following drone sounded cool. I just fancied the one-off ideas of: cycling up Leith Hill to see how slow I looked; speeding round a few parkrun courses to see how it handled trees; and then, maybe, following me up some French mountains later this year.

The parkrun idea seems like a fairly good one from a generic point of view. Why can’t race organisers get an overhead footage of the course to supplement what many already provide with course profiles and Google maps?

Then I stumbled across a few drone-related snippets

BMW Sponsors a Drone Racing League

It was announced last week that BMW are sponsoring the DRL.

Tip: Always follow the money to spot trends of the future.

There actually is a Drone Racing League

And it’s cleverly called the DRL and was founded in 2016. The drones are obviously piloted remotely but with 3D vision goggles.

For some inexplicable reason I like watching motor racing. Why not drones? On the face of it, drone racing is about as equally exciting. I like the commentary on F1.

Then we even get a $1m drone race. Why not?


Drone Air-Speed Record

The we even get a drone speed record of almost 180mph. I bet it can’t keep that going for 20 minutes though 😉





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Ray Maker

It’s interesting. I see some of these $1M prize pots for drone racing much like some of the old Lifetime Fitness triathlon prize pots, or the Rev3 pots back in the day. Just insane pots based purely on a wealthy individual donor.

In some ways, I actually believe those are bad for the sport (any sport) since it’s the whole bubble problem. Once it pops you’ve elevated a group of individuals into a career choice that’s not sustainable for those quantities.

Still, it’s really fun to watch. 🙂