On paper, it sounds like a real life F-Zero or like some background detail in Batman Beyond that’s there to show just how far-out and outlandish a cyberpunk future would be. Today, a league of pilots is racing high-speed neon drones through giant stadiums and abandoned malls, controlling them with rigs that recall classic RC cars and cutting edge VR alike. They race fast, move in seemingly all directions, and their pilots are physically taxed by their flights. Some in this Drone Racing League (DRL) even say that their adrenaline rushes more intensely than it does when they drive motocross.
Science fiction has become science fact here in so many ways. As if to evoke more prescient futurism, the DRL is sharing its pilots’ experiences like the “digital memories” in Strange Days. Maybe words can’t fully convey the thrill of drone racing, but videos on the league’s channel let fans basically become the pilots, experiencing races from their point-of-view in real time.
Consider buckling a seatbelt before streaming one such clip below.
Not happy with how that one went? Fret not. Every racer’s feed of that race, and a bunch of other races, are also available. The DRL is spreading its own good word, eager for drone racing to occupy a space in America’s heart in the same way that other eSports or even NASCAR do.
To that end, they’ve already put together some ESPN-like coverage for one of their races. No need to imagine what regular drone programming could look like. This one’s got it all. Star players. Racing stats. Multiple camera angles. Post-game interviews. There’s even running commentary to analyze the pilots’ strategies, as well as the unpredictable conditions that often lead to their spectacular crashes.
If these promos have got you pumped, you might want to check out the dates and locations of the DRL’s 2016 Season. A chance to catch these metal birds up-close might be coming sometime real soon. The national tour has already put on races in New York and Miami, and it’ll be blazing through more spots in the build-up toward the league’s World Championship.
Have these videos got you wanting to be a regular DRL viewer? Or would you join the league as a pilot yourself? Hit the talkback at top-speed with your thoughts.
Image Credits: Drone Racing League