Google and Red Bull Air Race have launched a virtual reality flight experience powered by real-time data. Now available on Google’s Daydream VR platform, the Red Bull Air Race LIVE VR lets viewers get closer than ever before to the high-speed air racing action of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship — both live and on-demand.
Now fans can get right in the middle of the action of a Red Bull Air Race through a live VR experience developed in collaboration with Google to explore new ways to broadcast live sport events.
The Red Bull Air Race LIVE VR experience uses real-time telemetry data straight from the pilot’s cockpit and re-creates the flight in a 360° virtual reality, so viewers can become fully immersed in a race from different angles and viewpoints.
The VR experience is fueled by live flight data like latitude, longitude, roll, pitch, and airspeed to generate breath-taking perspectives and a real dimensional live visualization of the pilots’ view, according to Red Bull officials. Fans are also able to track the speed of the pilot, as well as how much G Force they are pulling.
Daydream, Google’s mobile platform for VR content, brings this experience to everyone. The Daydream View headset and any Daydream-ready smartphone transports viewers right into the track of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Using the Daydream controller, users can navigate through the experience choosing multiple viewpoints, including the cockpit.
Fans can partake not just in races that have already taken place, but also live during the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship when it kicks off in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 2, 2018.
“As pilots in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, we get to do the most exciting stuff in the world and the fans can watch from the outside but not so much from the inside. This app changes that,” said Red Bull Race pilot Michael Goulian. “It really allows the people that follow the race from home to ride along with me, which is something special and we’ve never been able to do before. I think the thing that fans are going to enjoy the most with this is to see how close we get to the pylons, how fast we are flying and the big angles we get through the gates.”
The Red Bull Air Race LIVE VR features more than 40 runs through the track from the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season finale at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One of the highlights is Yoshihide Muroya who set the track record in his final run on his way to being crowned World Champion for 2017.
Launched to visitors in a dedicated installation onsite, fans as well as pilots showed their excitement for the Daydream VR experience.
“It’s really, really similar to the actual world. Everybody is going to have a lot of fun with this,” says Muroya.
Martin Sonka, a pilot from the Czech Republic and runner-up in the 2017 World Championship, points out possible benefits for the teams: “It’s amazing! It’s a great tool not just for spectators, but possibly for us. Because we can see mistakes that we’ve made in previous flights and find the right corrections. So, this technology could even be helpful for us.”
The Red Bull Air Race LIVE VR experience is now available via Daydream-ready smartphones like the Pixel and the Daydream View headsets, through the Google Play Store. Fans from countries where the headset is launched will be able to download the VR experience for free and relive the Indianapolis season finale.
In 2018, they will be able to tune into the live VR races during real time flight operations from all World Championship stops across the globe and join the pilots racing in exciting locations like Abu Dhabi, Cannes, Kazan, and Budapest.
Daydream View is currently available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Puerto Rico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States, and coming soon to Japan.