First Test Footage Revealed of EHANG 184 Manned Passenger Drone

VIDEO: China's self-flying taxi takes first manned flight

EHANG has also developed and tested a two-seat AAV that can carry a payload of up to 280kg.

"[The drone can] help people to avoid the traffic on the ground, but also in other applications, we can always think about emergency rescue, or we can transport patients to the hospital, or we can do a tourism, you know, fly from one island to the other", EHang co-founder Derrick Xiong said.

EHang says the vehicle runs on electric batteries. "But our successful flight today means the scenes that we used to only see in sci-fi movies are now very close to common people", said Hu Huazhi, chief executive officer (CEO) of Chinese tech company EHang.

EHANG, a global leader in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, has unveiled footage of the latest test flights of their self-flying passenger aircraft or Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV).

EHang says the final commercial product will fly into the market possibly within the year. "It's been a huge success", said Hu.

To ensure the aircraft's safety, the EHang 184 uses a suite of sensors with multiple redundant systems for backup to plot the safest flight path to a destination in real time.

Passengers can feel safe and secure in the Ehang 184, as communication for the controls of the vehicle is encrypted and each AAV has an independent key. "This goes on to push further development of the industry". Developers plan to focus on improving the passenger experience and adding an optional manual control. Since then, more than 150 technical engineers have conducted thousands of test flights, including a vertical climbing test reaching up to 300 m, a loaded test flight carrying about 230 kg, a routed test flight covering 15 km, and a high-speed cruising test that reached 130 km/h.

If the name Ehang rings any bells, that's because it is the same company that partnered with Dubai to develop self-flying drone taxis.

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