We're already beginning to see big production companies use drones for those gorgeous, sweeping aerial shots. That used to be the exclusive purview of helicopter pilots like Jonathan Benson, so watching him chase down a trophy truck could soon be a lost art.
Benson posted the clip to Reddit and took some questions. Inevitably, drones came up, and he admitted that some things can be done for less cash with a remote-controlled quadcopter. But the keyword there is "some."
While it's obviously hard to replace a skilled pilot paired with a good cameraman, the larger issue with drones is their range in the wild.
Right now, most drone filming is done in relatively close confines – similar to what Benson is doing around the track – but for stuff like, say, Dakar, drones just don't have enough juice to keep going for extended periods or to keep pace with racers at speed. We might see them replace helicopters covering Formula 1 or MotoGP, but for the sprawling, ambitious stuff, Benson should be safe, at least for now.