JPL's AI-Powered Racing Drone Challenges Pro Human Pilot
While the drones are capable of straight line speeds of over 120 km/h, JPL’s warehouse isn’t quite large enough for them to go flat out, sadly. The constrained track proved especially tricky for the professional human drone racing pilot , Ken Loo , who got mentally fatigued by the density of the track. Once Loo learned the course, though, he could complete it in an average of just over 11 seconds, while the autonomous drone took an average of 3 seconds longer. The time difference mostly came from aggression—while the autonomous drone was smoother and more consistent (flying nearly the same time every lap), Loo accelerated and decelerated more quickly, and was able to dynamically improvise maneuvers and shortcuts that the autonomous system couldn’t.