Every time we write about them, someone wants to know: Are passenger drones real? The answer is yes – not only do they exist, but they’re being used successfully.
Autonomous aerial vehicles (AAV) are not a topic of future science fiction: they are in use today. EHang, the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (“AAV”) technology platform company, is on a campaign to let the world know that passenger drones are real with their world flight tour.
The tour aims “to demonstrate the reliability and versatility of its passenger-grade AAVs through safe autonomous flights in various commercial use cases, including passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, air logistics, medical emergency response, etc,” says an EHang press release. “EHang’s passenger-grade AAVs have completed thousands of trial and demo flights in 21 cities and 6 countries, including China, the U.S., Austria, Netherlands, Qatar, and UAE.”
EHang first made headlines for its passenger drone at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016. In four short years, that prototype has gone from a great idea to a working aircraft. Since then, EHang has formed partnerships with countries all over the world to introduce their passenger drones. China has supported technology, allowing EHang to demonstrate emergency response use cases. A partnership with a Chinese development company has led to a passenger drone themed hotel, where guests can travel to and from the airport and to sightseeing destinations by drone. And today, tourists got to experience aerial sightseeing flights in Yantai, a coastal city in East China.
“An EHang 216 took four passengers to the air for aerial sightseeing trips over the sea around the beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf in Yantai city, one of the many AAAA national tourist attraction locations throughout China,” says a press release.
“The passengers were enthusiastic about their first-ever AAV rides. They commented, ‘It was amazing. I felt safe throughout the journey. The EHang 216 flew at a steady pace with almost no turbulence. This was my first time to experience such a ‘bird’s eye view’ from the air. I cannot wait to take another trip!’”
EHang’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Hu Huazhi said, “As the world’s first provider of passenger-grade AAVs, we are honored to prove this game-changing air mobility solution by demonstrating flights to regulators, customers, partners, and the general public. The positive supports and feedback have strengthened our determination in our quest to bring this new style of mobility to the people.”