Watch Ehang's drone carrying passengers in new flight video

By midian182 ยท 9 replies
Feb 6, 2018
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  1. It was way back at CES 2016 when Ehang showed off a prototype of its passenger drone, the Ehang 184. There was an air of skepticism over its claims of autonomous flying, but the company has just released the first footage of the vehicle in flight with passengers on board.

    Ehang claims it has carried out more than 1000 test flight over the years. In the video, the company said Ehang CEO Huazhi Hu and Wang Dong, the deputy mayor of Guangzhou, China, where the tests took place, are two of the 40 passengers to have taken to the skies in the craft.

    The all-electric drone can carry passengers 10 miles or for up to 23 minutes of flight. The company says all someone has to do is input the destination and the aircraft will take them there—flying autonomously—and land. A human pilot stands ready to take over the controls remotely from a command center should anything go wrong.

    The Ehang 184 has a rated payload limit of 220 pounds and a cruising altitude of 500m (1640 feet). It also boasts a speed of up to 80 mph. Ehang is working to improve the ride for passengers and is adding manual controls for those with piloting experience.

    “Performing manned test flights enables us to demonstrate the safety and stability of our vehicles,” Hu says in the press release. “What we’re doing isn’t an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first.”

    No word on when the final product will be released, but Ehang said “we hope that we could attract more dealers and partners in 2018.”

    Back in February 2017, it was announced that the Ehang 184 would become part of Dubai’s autonomous air taxi service, which was said to launch as early as July that same year. But it seems the launch date was a bit optimistic.

    For those in the US looking forward to taking a ride in an autonomous drone, Uber hopes to bring its UberAIR flying taxi service to Los Angeles in 2020.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,179   +1,708

    Even assuming the 23 minute flight time is legit (which it isn't), that's about the most UN-safe aircraft I can imagine. Typhoon testing? Really? Who do they think their fooling? If Mueller couldn't make it practical with gas power these guys certainly aren't gonna do it with electric. Flight time on this deathtrap would be under five minutes using the best battery tech we have.
  3. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    How safe are they drones?

    It seem the technology may be too soon.

    How much testing have they done?
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,164   +2,637

    Not a bad first step but unless they can make it some other alternative fuel to extend the range to a minimum of 100 miles it probably won't be as popular as hoped. They show the user playing with a stick. Now if they could vastly simplify the controls (much easier than a standard helicopter) I could see it eventually expanding, but these are two BIG if's and the cost? I shutter to think it could come in under $100K but looking at it, it just might be possible.
  5. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +12

    "The all-electric drone can carry passengers 10 miles or for up to 23 minutes of flight. The Ehang 184 has a rated payload limit of 220 pounds and a cruising altitude of 500m (1640 feet). It also boasts a speed of up to 80 mph."

    None of those stats are particularly impressive. The most important thing they need to add is a parachute, then I could see companies using it for sightseeing tours or letting people fly it in enclosed spaces in amusement parks.

    A 20 minute sightseeing tour over a city would be feasible.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  6. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    This is impressive for city taxi as it not deign as city hotspot travel .

    As it not deign for 50 mile travel that alone 80 or 100 mile.

    It is for in city travel not to go to other city.
  7. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 645   +418

    Just don't get too close when it lands or takes off (exposed rotor blades). Overhead rotors have already done enough damage
    Draconian likes this.
  8. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +12

    That's a good point about the exposed rotors. Could they enclose the rotors or would that add too much weight?
  9. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +182

    All they need to do is make sure the doors are unable to be opened while the rotors slow down. I can see drunk people in the future getting their limbs chopped off due to negligence. The possible issue of a fire/door not opening until rotors stop, etc are of another beast entirely.
    Draconian and senketsu like this.
  10. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 107   +26

    Reminds me of Blade Runner, not sure it's the drone or the smog

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