Will Drone Racing be the Next NASCAR?

On FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, Drone Racing League CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski discussed the new professional drone racing league.

“We are starting a professional drone racing league, so these will be competitions held in arenas, and in abandoned buildings which allow people to compete with very fast drones at complex three-dimensional courses.”

Horbaczewski addressed the potential safety concerns of these events.

“Currently, we are not having live audiences at our events, although we will and our tracks are sealed off… there is a barrier between the audience and the drone track, it’s just like at NASCAR where they put the fence up.”

When asked about who participates in the races, Horbaczewski said: “We held our first event of the 2016 season in Dolphins Stadium in Miami and we brought in 12 of the best pilots in the world, so these pilots came from all over. We have pilots from Brazil, Mexico, Australia, the U.S. who are exceptional at piloting these kinds of drones, and they come from all walks of life. 

Horbaczewski also explained how the pilots fly the drones.

“There is a camera on the drone and it feeds a signal to a pair of goggles, so for the pilot it’s like sitting in the cockpit of the drone, so they see what the drone sees, and that allows them to fly it like a fighter jet.”

In addition, Horbaczewski talked about where the professional drone racers practice.

“You’re practicing in your yard, you’re practicing in buildings where you can find the space, so people go to parking garages, closed off spaces where it’s safe to fly and they’ll practice.  Our course in Miami for example, wove through the concourses, it wove through the circular people movers that move people between the levels so they have to practice those tight turns, tight hallways.”

Horbaczewski was also asked his opinion on government regulations.

“I think it’s a complex question, I think the FAA and other agencies have a real challenge.”