Personal autonomous aerial vehicle startup Ehang to begin testing in Nevada this year

By Shawn Knight
Jun 8, 2016
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  1. Chinese drone maker Ehang turned lots of heads at CES 2016 when it unveiled 184, a personal autonomous aerial vehicle meant for short- to medium-distance transportation. It’s such an ambitious concept that it’s easy to forget about or even dismiss entirely but Ehang has demonstrated its commitment to the 184.

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), a nonprofit group sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, has agreed to work with Ehang to help develop and test the 184.

    Mark Barker, the institute’s business development director, said he and Tom Wilczek, a defense aerospace industry representative at the governor's office, first met Ehang at CES. Company CEO George Yan expressed interest in working with the nonprofit, a move that’ll expand its reach into the US.

    Ehang will initially send a small group to Nevada. Specifically, Baker said they will develop test criteria that will help Ehang prove aircraft worthiness to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The vehicle gets its name from having one passenger, eight propellers and four arms. Ehang said at CES that its flying machine generates 142 horsepower and can provide up to 23 minutes of flight time at sea level. That’s sufficient to transport a single passenger about 10 miles at an average speed of 62 mph, Ehang said.

    Although a detailed timeline hasn’t yet been established, Ehang expects to begin testing later this year in Nevada.

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +772

    It looks impressive but with the limited distance I doubt it's marketability. With the average commute time in the USA at 26 minutes, that could put it right at the limit when you consider distance, traffic, landing areas & congestion to and from the landing areas ... not to mention the limited landing areas that do not currently exist at or near most places of employment. IF they ever get that worked out and double the flight distance/time they might be viable, but doubtful for the recreational industry at those stats. Still, despite all of that, it is an intriguing idea that I hope continues to develop......
  3. fastvince

    fastvince TS Enthusiast Posts: 68   +19

    Sounds promising. But 'That’s sufficient to transport a single passenger about 10 miles at an average speed of 62 mph' is way to little range to be of any real use.
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 909   +384

    Kind of a bad omen, when the founder dies in a helicopter accident?
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,101   +345

    I agree with you and Uncle AI.

    However think of this as a beta version.

    Imagine how much better it could be in a generation or two with improved flight times and alittle more speed its promising.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Addict Posts: 170   +70

    This is great when you need to slice up zombies in an apocalypse, otherwise talk about health and safety hazard with those ground level open rotors.
  7. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +26

    It looks like a great beheading machine.

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