Chinese Ehang tests drone with passengers on board


Ehang impressed the world with its concept of a passenger drone already at the 2016 CES. Two years later, the first video of said autonomous drone, this time carrying a human indeed has gone live.

Ehang has made its promises come true and presents the first live test flight with its drone for persons. The concept vehicle, which is called the Ehang 184, has a rated payload limit of 220 pounds and a cruising altitude of 500m. According to the producer, the drone vehicle has a speed limit of 130 kph.

Currently the vehicle is designed to minimise passenger interaction, and users will simply enter their destination and press a button to be “delivered” at their destination. An option for drivers who would like to pilot their own vehicle is currently being developed.

While the video looks very convincing, especially as passengers initially look quite nervous, but settle in quickly and seem to be enjoying the ride, public use will remain a different question. There had been rumors of the vehicle being operational in Dubai by 2017, but they did not go further than “air” testing, and regulations will be difficult to decide.

However Ehangs management seems confident that their electric passenger drone will quickly develop, as technological innovation necessarily has to precede relevant political policy. Once that is in place, it will further push the industry to new heights.


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