Drone Racing: “Changing the Boundaries of Sports”
Drone industry is certainly experiencing rapid growth. According to the experts, in the years to come, the drone industry will be one of the most fast growing industries with a growth rate of 70 percent per year. According to some toy shop owners, they were just selling R.C helicopters and some quads that were shorthand radio controlled vehicles. But with the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles, people are more interested in buying those UAV’s compared to the old R.C helicopters. This is why we have to shift our whole inventory from R.C helicopters to the unmanned aerial vehicles. They further added that these UAVs have also increased our sales and profit margins are much higher compared to what we used to have before.
An Entire New Dimension
Within the drone industry, there is also a segment that is at a brisk of the horizon. That segment is the “Drone Racing League”. When unmanned aerial vehicles first entered into the consumer market, they were so expensive that only professional cinematographer could afford it. But now a drone with the full racing kit can be bought for about $1000.
From a Fun Hobby to a Paying Profession
That new market is so tempting that people are opting to transform it from the hobby to the key sport. People are also learning drones and are planning to make drone racing as their profession. According to the one of the drone racer, it is something that he only thinks about all the time. He also believes that the drone racing is a beginning of something big. The chief operating officer (COO) of theInternational Drone Racing Association (IDRA)said that drone racing is the next big thing in the sport industry. He further added that this is the future and will revolutionize the racing industry. Nevertheless, drone racing is still in its decisivephase. The rules are yet to be figured out and there is alsoanimperfection in the audience exposure. The management team also has no idea that how to manage this event effectively. Currently racesgenerallytake place in the open area, but this is expected to change as racers want to have anexciting experience in the more realistic venues that will double their flight experience. For this purpose, the venues that are under consideration are forests, uninhibitedstructures or even is traditional sites. According to the COO of IDRA, drone racing is at pioneering stage. It is still yet to be figured out that what is really is and how far and how well it can go, but right now the response of the people tells that it is fun and exciting. As drone racing is a new type of sport, so it is required to have big prize money in order to attract the people towards it. For this purpose, the team of “Drone Racing League” is making efforts to bring big sponsors on the stage, so that they can attract more people towards the drone racing. It is suspected that the drone racing championship, that will be held in the mid of 2016, will have a prize money between $100,000- $150,000. The organization is also expecting to attract approximately 300 pilots that will showcase their skills and abilities in the mega event.
Types of Races
In Drone Racing League (DRL), there are majorly three types of races. First one is the “Lap Race” where racers have to race through the course. The first one to finish the course after 3 or 5 laps is declared as the winner. The second type is “Time Attack”, here racers have to race through the course of one lap that is aroughly 250-300 millimeters long. The fastest one to finish the course in the least time is declared as the winner. The third and the most exciting type of race is “Free Style”. In this race type, racers have to perform different aerial stunts in order to gain points. Stunts include flip maneuvers, tight turns and 360 degree loops. The racer with the most points is professed as the winner. As there is little to no chance of life loss, so racers push the done beyond its limits in order to perform breathtaking stunts that surely stuns the audience.
Moving Towards Acceptance
From the public perspective, unmanned aerial vehicles still have a long way to go. It is a new technology and it will take time before it will be fully accepted by the people. The reports regarding the drones that are beingflown near wildfires and over the other people’s house has amplified the concerns towards the security and privacy of people and have also impacted the image of drones in a negative way. Still, drone hobbyist believe that the bad reputation will pass as drones will become more common all around the world. As said by the one of the drone racers that it is hard to please everyone. Every technology has two sides of the picture. So it is better to look at the brighter side that has advantages rather than just looking at the gloomy side and making negative assumptions about the product. In the reports, it is believed that as drones have gained so much popularity in a few years, so the time is near when people will stop criticizing and will also find new creative and innovative ways where drone can be more useful and entertaining. By looking at the periodical evolution of drone industry, it is quite obvious that as the drones were introduced to the consumer market for the very first time, people accepted it as a hobby and with the passage of time with the introduction of drone racing, the trend changed from hobby to being a professional drone racer. Thus, it is quite obvious that as drones will get much mature, it will empower the other sectors and markets that are yet to be discovered. Look at the below figure to get an idea of how the journey of these drones have started and what is the potential?