German car manufacturer BMW has agreed a partnership with the Drone Racing League (DRL) that will see the two work together to produce the fastest racing drone ever. BMW will also host one of this year's races at BMW Welt, the company's multi-use exhibition centre in Munich, Germany.
The DRL will get full use of BMW's wind tunnel at the Aerodynamic Test Center, where it hopes to build a new drone capable of beating the current Guinness World Record set by the fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled quadcopter. The DRL already holds this record with the DRL RacerX achieving a speed of 165.2 mph. The RacerX actually flew at 179mph, but Guinness takes the average flight speed.
The Drone Racing League is still in its infancy, with the first season taking off in 2016, but it has already become an incredibly popular spectator sport, being broadcast on ESPN, Sky Sports and ProSiebenSat 1 in Germany. All drone pilots use the same DRL Racer 3 drone, so all races are fair and it's the pilot's skill level that's put to the test.
This year, BMW will host the penultimate race at the BMW Welt exhibition centre on 28 July before the winner is decided at the final, which this year takes place in Saudi Arabia.
DRL CEO and Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski said: "We're thrilled to be partnering with BMW, a world-class motorsports brand with a rich legacy of innovation. We look forward to bringing the futuristic sport of drone racing to BMW Welt and putting our proprietary technology to the test to make history with BMW"
Jörg Reimann, Head of BMW International Brand Experience added: "The partnership with DRL will enhance BMW's racing involvement with future-oriented formats,"
"Drone racing is a very competitive type of racing, characterised by the interplay of extremely high-performance material and digital technology. This represents an environment in which BMW has assumed a pioneering position for many years in its core business,"
"We are very much looking forward to this collaboration and to the new event formats that we will be developing together with our partners."