In September 2018, we told thatthe creators of the drone racing league, Drone Racing League, want to launch a competition where artificial intelligence will control the aircraft. To attract the attention of developers, they took advantage of the support of the aerospace company Lockheed Martin and the collaboration finally paid off. Recently, one of the best pilots in this field took part in the race - a Swiss named Gabriel Kocher. His opponent was a drone under the control of artificial intelligence, developed by the MAVLab team. As it turned out, computers are not yet so fast and smart to control aircraft at high speeds.
According to Digital Trends, the race betweenhuman and artificial intelligence passed in the US state of Texas. At first, unmanned drones with computer control competed with each other: the teams were given the task to develop drones with Nvidia Xavier processors, a combination of four cameras and artificial intelligence. The winner of the artificial intelligence competition was the drone of the Dutch team MAVLab, and it was he who later became the rival of one of the best pilots in the world, Gabriel Kocher.
Who is better - man or artificial intelligence?
The race was held indoors in Texasthe city of Austin. As always, FPV glasses were put on the pilot’s head, which show the real-time image from the drone’s camera. He had to once again demonstrate his developed vestibular apparatus, because the race track was full of sharp turns and all kinds of obstacles. The length of the track is not reported, but it is unlikely to reach at least a kilometer length, because the pilot finished 6 seconds after the start. The drone of the MAVLab team under the control of artificial intelligence, in turn, reached the finish line in 12 seconds. That is, a man won the race.
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In the 2018 article we mentioned at the beginningnews, we already wrote that drones with artificial intelligence are unlikely to be faster and faster than manually controlled devices. The past competition is an excellent proof of this. However, the organizers of the Drone Racing League believe that the computer will be able to defeat a person in the race in the next 3 years. According to Steve Wright, who is an Aviation Researcher at the University of West Anglia, drones will be constantly improving. Just ten years ago, to control the drones would require a huge processor, which would be very hot. Now, for this, chips the size of a playing card are used.
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Did racer Gabriel Kocher receive any prizefor the victory over artificial intelligence is still unknown. But the MAVLab team received a consolation prize of $ 1 million for developing the fastest drone in the racing season of 2019. The developers shared that they intend to use the money received to improve their drone and artificial intelligence. Who knows, maybe next year their drone will finally be stronger than a drone under human control?