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Drones: The Next Frontier for Sport?

A short while ago, we explored what a 1 Billion Drone Future would look like, looking at the role that drones could play in the sporting world. Intrigued, we decided to investigate where drone technology is currently used in sport and exciting opportunities on the horizon…

Drones
Image Credit: Thierry Zoccolana/Getty Images

Drone photography & filming:

The biggest sport that is already making use of drone photography is football – both American football and ‘soccer’. Firstly, UK football clubs are beginning to use drones to help coach their players. Having drones film overhead captures a birds-eye view on the tactics and player movements, which can be used by coaches to show players exactly what they’re doing wrong on the pitch – and coach them accordingly.

The same process has been also used in American Football, with a school in Chicago being the first to record practices and games using drones. The coach then distributes the tape to the players, giving them a chance to evaluate their performance in a way they’ve not been able to before.

Drones
Image Credit: Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune

Drones haven’t just been revolutionizing sports on grass either. They have also been proving useful in winter sports such as ski jumping where, rather than being used for coaching, they’ve been providing dramatic angles for television audiences and those watching on the big screen at the event itself. Drones have also been used in sailboat racing, filming dramatic overhead views of the race beneath.

Drones
Image Credit: Cornelius Poppe/AFP/Getty Images

The future potential of drones in sport:

The fact that drones are already being used successfully in a number of sports suggests that the possibilities for drones in sport are endless. They have the potential to truly revolutionize how we watch team sports that take place on a very large field, such as polo or rugby, where spectators are often struggling to see the action from a distance. Drones could also be used to cover cycling racing.  Just imagine a camera drone following the leader of the Tour de France, it could provide a much better viewing experience.

However, there’s still a way to go before we see widespread drone use in the sporting world. Better Artificial Intelligence needs to be developed to ensure drones can have advanced crowd avoidance mechanisms in case of safety issues, as well as the ability to make emergency landings in case of bad weather, a sudden flat battery or a rogue ball.

Not only will watching sport be taken to the next level using drones, it has been foreseen that they could play a role in sports venue hospitality. Granted, drones won’t be delivering beers to your seat in the stadium just yet, but there’s a good chance they will soon be serving food or drinks at the bars which run around the sporting venue – dramatically cutting queuing time. With some local restaurants already trying it in the Far East – it’s only a matter of time!

Drones
Image Credit: Medium

Despite there still being a way to go before we see drones being used at all our favourite sporting events, the advances we are already seeing are incredibly exciting.

As you’ve read, the commercial use of drones is ever increasing. If you’re a commercial drone pilot, it’s important to ensure that you and your drone are properly protected.  Get an instant online quote for tailored commercial drone insurance today.

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