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AlphaPilot – Lockheed Martin AI Drone Racing Innovation Challenge

AlphaPilot – Lockheed Martin AI Drone Racing Innovation Challenge

AlphaPilot is the first large-scale open innovation challenge of its kind focused on advancing artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy. Read Overview...


Calling all coders, gamers, race fans, and drone enthusiasts...


Lockheed Martin and The Drone Racing League (DRL) challenge you to participate in AlphaPilot, an open innovation challenge, developing artificial intelligence (AI) for high-speed racing drones.  


Enter the AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge today for your chance to master autonomous flight and win more than $2,000,000 in cash prizes.


AlphaPilot will challenge teams of up to 10 participants each to design an AI framework, powered by the NVIDIA Jetson platform for AI at the edge, that is capable of flying a drone -- without any human intervention or navigational pre-programming. Autonomous drones will race head-to-head through complex, three-dimensional tracks in DRL’s new Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit, starting in 2019.

AlphaPilot aims to unite a diverse community of practicing and emerging AI experts, researchers and students to inspire the next generation of autonomous drone technology. By participating in this challenge, your knowledge and ideas can contribute directly toward the future of autonomous transportation, delivery, disaster relief, and even space exploration!



Why Drones?

Drone racing is a futuristic sport, and a big draw for millennials and K-12 students with an interest in technology — many of whom will become future STEM professionals, drone pilots and engineers. Lockheed Martin recognizes the important role in helping to develop a workforce with skills to compete in a 21st century high-tech economy. Lockheed Martin and DRL are targeting U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to apply for AlphaPilot; however, the competition is open to drone enthusiasts, coders and technologists of all ages from around the world.


Why is Lockheed Martin doing this?

For more than 100 years, Lockheed Martin has been redefining flight — from the fastest speeds, to the edge of space, to unmatched maneuverability and stealth. AI-enabled autonomy promises to fundamentally change the future of flight, and we are actively developing disruptive new AI technologies that will help our customers accomplish their most important missions – from reaching Mars to fighting wildfires.



  • Click ACCEPT CHALLENGE above to apply for AlphaPilot.
  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about competition.
  • Share this challenge on social media using the icons above. Show your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to join the discussion, ask questions or connect with other innovators.


Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year, the company received three Edison awards for groundbreaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy. For more information, please visit www.lockheedmartin.com/alphapilot.





DRL is the professional drone racing circuit for elite FPV pilots around the world. A technology, sports and media company, DRL combines world-class media and proprietary technology to create thrilling 3D drone racing content with mass appeal. In 2018 DRL hosted a global series of seven races, the Allianz World Championship, that is airing on ESPN, Sky Sports, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Groupe AB, Disney XD, OSN, and FOX Sports Asia. For more information, please visit www.drl.io

Aug. 1, 2019, 6 a.m. PDT
Race in the 2019 AIRR Season
August 2019 - December 2019
Exact dates TBD
June 1, 2019, 6 a.m. PDT
Team Workshops
June 2019 - July 2019
Exact dates TBD
March 8, 2019, 2 p.m. PST
Submission Deadline
Application window for the AlphaPilot Challenge will close. Participants unable to sign up and submit responses by this date are encouraged to stay tuned for 2019 results and future challenges. Submissions for all 3 Tests must be submitted to the HeroX Challenge site, due 5pm EST.
Feb. 16, 2019, 7:42 a.m. PST
You are here
Feb. 15, 2019, 10:04 p.m. PST
Feb. 15, 2019, 10 p.m. PST
Leaderboard Opens
Feb. 15, 2019, 9:55 p.m. PST
Feb. 15, 2019, 9:52 p.m. PST
Feb. 15, 2019, 9:51 p.m. PST
Feb. 8, 2019, 4:40 p.m. PST
Feb. 8, 2019, 4:40 p.m. PST
Feb. 8, 2019, 4:33 p.m. PST
Feb. 8, 2019, 2 p.m. PST
Test 3 Launch
Test 3 opens and resources are available.
Feb. 7, 2019, 9:59 a.m. PST
Feb. 1, 2019, 9:58 p.m. PST
Feb. 1, 2019, 9:45 p.m. PST
Feb. 1, 2019, 9:44 p.m. PST
Feb. 1, 2019, 4 p.m. PST
Test 2 Launch
Test 2 opens and resources are available.
Jan. 25, 2019, 8:26 p.m. PST
Jan. 25, 2019, 4 p.m. PST
Test 2 and Test 3 Details Released
Additional details on Tests #2 and #3 relevant to code development will be released.
Jan. 18, 2019, 2:36 p.m. PST
Jan. 18, 2019, 2 p.m. PST
Test 1 Launch
A set of written questions (Test 1) will be made available so teams can begin formulating their video responses.
Details outlining the tasks and mechanisms for the computer vision and simulator problems (Tests 2&3) will also be announced.
Dec. 28, 2018, 2:57 p.m. PST
Dec. 17, 2018, 8:15 p.m. PST
Dec. 4, 2018, 1:25 p.m. PST
Nov. 13, 2018, 9:30 a.m. PST
Open Registration
November 2018 - February 2019
Exact dates TBD
Nov. 13, 2018, 9:29 a.m. PST
Date Launched
Updates 9
Forum 50
Community 1.9K
Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
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