JPL engineers put together a drone race to find which is faster - a drone operated by a human or one operated by artificial intelligence. The race capped two years of research into drone autonomy funded by Google.

Transcript:

JPL engineers recently built a new kind of drone --one piloted by artificial intelligence. The drone uses cameras to track its position...

Engineer: A wide field camera on the front here--and then also on the bottom here there's a second wide field view camera.

...then matches it with a pre-loaded map.

To test it, engineers set up an obstacle course in a JPL warehouse. And just for fun, invited world-class drone pilot Ken Loo to race against it. The winner? The A.I.-piloted drone averaged 13.9 seconds per lap. Loo's drone averaged 11.1 seconds.

Although slower, the A.I.-piloted drone completed the course with accuracy--capping off two years of research into drone autonomy funded by Google.

Don't be surprised if you hear more about autonomous drones in the future. Researchers hope that one day drones could be piloting themselves around warehouses or even navigating disaster areas to find survivors

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