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Drone Racing is Making Its Way to be a Legitimate Sports Game

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(Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 07: A DJI employee demonstrates flying a drone at CES 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and features 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 150,000 attendees.Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At CES 2016
January 26
11:59 PM 2016

Drone racing is making its way to becoming a legitimate, organized spectator sport. In fact, the Drone Racing League already announced its first season on Tuesday. The league has gained support from venture capital firms and celebrities and is aimed to be the Formula 1, NASCAR and MotoGP of drone racing.

According to ABC News, the first race would take place in Miami on February. The league would consist of six courses in closed-door locations, including abandoned malls, stadiums and subway tunnels. 

The Drone Racing League was initiated by Nick Horbaczewski. He uttered his ambitions to make his drone league as big as NASCAR. He also hopes that more people would gather to watch the races, but for now, the league's focus is to create great races, filming them, and letting people enjoy them digitally.

Quartz explained how the races would work. All pilots will be required to use only drones built by the Drone Racing League with standardized equipment and specifications. The drones will have standard-definition cameras, so the pilots can see the racing field as if they were flying with the drones. The pilots will be able to see what the drones are seeing through goggles.

This feed is different from the ones that would be received by producers who would be in charge to put together the race video to watch later by spectators. So, at least for now, the league doesn't offer live viewing for spectators. This decision is made to prevent the pilot's video feed to lag because that would happen if they were to receive the HD videos as well. But the league is working to develop a technology that would enable live viewing of the drone races. 

This first season of drone racing would only list experienced drone pilots as participants. The league board will identify skilled pilots to compete. Horbaczewski hopes that people could feel connected to the pilots, just like fans are to NASCAR or MotoGP drivers.

According to Bloomberg, the Drone Racing League already secured several investors, including the owner of the National Football League team Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross and New York venture capital firm, Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Pilots from all over the U.S, as well as other countries like Brazil and Australia, would participate in the league. The winners of this first season will advance to fight for the world champion title.

The vision of the Drone Racing League, backed with financial support, is expected to pave the way for drone pilots to have a legitimate sporting events and leagues. More technology is required to make the league bigger, but the league is moving forward towards the improvements needed. 

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