Man vs. Computer! Guess who won? Recently, a contest was held to find out who possesses the best racing skills among human and machine. In a first of its kind competition, ace-drone pilot Gabriel Kocher from Switzerland won the race beating a computer-piloted drone in a race around an obstacle course.
Team MAVLab‘s AI raced against DRL Pilot Gabriel “Gab707” Kocher, one of the best drone pilots in the world, who compete in the 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season.
DRL Pilot Gab707 won the race, finishing in six seconds, just five seconds faster than Team MAVLab, showcasing the ever-closing gap in performance between AI and humans. This racing event was organised by the Drone Racing League (DRL) in collaboration with American global aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.
According to DRL, AI-powered drones will dominate the competition by 2023. Till now, DRL has organised the human-piloted race, but with the rise in autonomous technology, they wanted to launch the first AIRR (Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing) contest to pit humans against machines.
Around Nine international AlphaPilot Teams of students, engineers, and programmers from five continents competed in AIRR by developing AI that could handle autonomously pilot standard, and custom-built DRL RacerAI drones the fastest.
In the end, Team MAVLab, the drone research lab of the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, won the coveted $1 million cash prize.
The AIRR Championship, which took place at the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas, marked the final race of a four-event series that aims to advance the development and testing of fully autonomous drone technologies for real-world applications including disaster relief, search and rescue missions and space exploration.
Main image picture credits: Drone Racing League
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