EHang has announced that during the 2019 Northeast Asia Expo in August, it conducted the first passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) demonstration flight.
According to EHang, its passenger-grade AAV, EHang 216, has also completed similar public demonstration flights in other Chinese cities such as EHang's headquarters in Guangzhou, Lianyungang and Luzhi in Jiangsu province, Taizhou in Zhejiang province, Yantai in Shandong province and Shenyang in Liaoning province.
EHang’s AAVs have also performed several passenger-carrying autonomous flight demonstrations in other countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, and Qatar.
“We are very excited that our AAVs are visiting more cities and being accepted and celebrated by local communities,” says Hu Huazhi, EHang's founder, chairman, and CEO.
“This is a critical step towards making our dream reality and to make urban air mobility broadly available and affordable as a safe, fast, and eco-friendly transportation alternative.”
Equipped with full redundant components for safety, including 16 propellers, the battery powered EHang 216 is capable of carrying up to 220 kilograms, and can fly as fast as 130 kilometers per hour.
To get from one location to another, passengers using EHang's AAVs will not need a pilot license to fly them, the company notes. Instead, they will simply choose their destinations on a mobile app, and the AAVs will fly autonomously on pre-programmed routes, which includes taking off, landing vertically, and conducting U-shaped travel. The vehicles will be tracked, and if necessary, they can be commandeered from a command-and-control center on the ground.
EHang notes that along with its partners, it has been working with several different global aviation regulatory authorities “to help lay the groundwork for developing the logistics and regulations for the urban air mobility market.” Some of these authorities include the International Civil Aviation Organization at the United Nations, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and other organizations in North America and Europe.