Ehang has unveiled an amazing drone here at CES 2016. Ehang is a Chinese drone maker and has taken the veils off of a drone that weighs in at 500 pounds and is an autonomous transportation vehicle for a single person. Say hello to Ehang 184!
It is pretty big, however, has been designed quite elegantly. As per the company, it is capable of flying at 100km/hr on a 23-minute trip and can support a weight of about 100kg. User makes use of an app to plan the trip. All that you need to do is to select the destination and get in. The drone will take off and shall take you to your desired spot. It features a fail-safe system that works to protect the user and in case of any system failure; the drone goes into hover mode or attempts to find a safe landing spot.
This amazing all-electric drone features eight propellers, eight motors, four arms and two sets of sensors along with a redundancy to make sure that flight is safe even during bad weather. According to the website, although the vehicle is thunderstorm-proof, the command center will not allow takeoff during weather conditions that are best described as extreme.
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) January 6, 2016
The downside? It is not legalized in the US yet. Ehang’s co-founder and CFO, Shang Wen Hsiao said that the company is in talks with the FAA – it requires 28 hours of flight time to ascertain air worthiness. The vehicle is expected to take off and land vertically at targets that have been pre-set.
The company has also had meetings with officials in New Zealand, Los Angeles, California and China. New Zealand is interested in experimental tests while the Chinese government supports it but has to go through the application process. The company has successfully carried out more than 100 flights with a person onboard. The expected cost of Ehang 184 is supposed to be around $200,000-300,000.