Science

AI beats champion human pilots in head-to-head drone races

Drones racing round a course

Swift (blue) races against the drone (red) of Alex Vanover, the 2019 Drone Racing League world champion

Leonard Bauersfeld

An artificial intelligence has consistently beaten champion drone pilots in races for the first time, achieving lap times no human was able to match. The technology could be used to speed up drones carrying out everyday tasks.

The sport of drone racing involves humans piloting small quadcopters around a course at speeds of more than 100 kilometres per hour, with the vehicles subject to g-forces of up to 5 g. The drones must …


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