Lockheed, DRL to Launch AI Innovation Challenge for Autonomous Aircraft; Keoki Jackson Quoted

Keoki Jackson

Lockheed Martin and the Drone Racing League have partnered to launch a competition for artificial intelligence technologies that will be used to power an unmanned aircraft system during a race with a pilot-operated drone.

Lockheed said Wednesday the AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge aims to encourage university students, technologists, coders and drone enthusiasts to boost innovations in AI, machine learning and UAS technologies.

Nvidia will also participate in the effort by offering its Jetson system to power the competitors’ AI/machine learning technologies that will help a drone navigate through DRL’s multi-dimensional race courses.

Lockheed Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson said the challenge will provide an opportunity for participants to “define the future of autonomy and AI” and encourage the use of the advanced technologies.

The AlphaPilot Innovation competitors will vie for prizes worth over $2M, as well as an award valued at $250K for the first team that will beat a human-piloted drone.

The challenge will begin accepting participation entries in November.

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