CES 2016.- First ever passenger solar drone launched by EHang

EHang, a Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company, unveiled this week at CES 2016 the EHang 184, the world’s first personal autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV). Developed independently by the Chinese company EHang, the fully ready-to-fly AAV is powered by solar energy and capable of automatically carrying a passenger through the air, simply by entering a destination into its accompanying smartphone app.

The fully automated navigation is made possible by EHang’s 24/7 real-time flight command center, therefore passengers have no need for a pilot’s license

The EHang 184 constitutes a turning point not only for the transportation industry, but also in other fields such as shipping, medical care and retail.

EHang 184, folded. © EHang.
EHang 184, folded. © EHang.

The 184 AAV takes off and lands vertically, subsequently eliminating the need for runways. Its foldable design solves the logistical and spatial issues that have constrained airplanes and other modes of air-travel from expanding into daily use. Mass-adoption of the 184 has the potential to streamline congested traffic and dramatically reduce the kind of accidents associated with any human-operated vehicle.

The EHang 184, which takes its name from ‘one’ passenger, ‘eight’ propellers, and ‘four’ arms, follows other successful consumer products by this Chinese company including the Ghost Drone line.

“It’s been a lifetime goal of mine to make flight faster, easier and more convenient than ever. The 184 provides a viable solution to the many challenges the transportation industry faces in a safe and energy efficient way,” said EHang CEO Huazhi Hu. “I truly believe that EHang will make a global impact across dozens of industries beyond personal travel. The 184 is evocative of a future we’ve always dreamed of and is primed to alter the very fundamentals of the way we get around.”

Organised by the Consumer Technology Association, CES 2016 is currently being held in Dallas (Texas -USA-) from 6th to 9th, 2016.

Main features

The drone is 1.5 meters tall and weights 200 kilograms (440 pounds). The EHang 184 AAV has a load capacity of 100 kilograms (220 pounds), with the maximum output of 106W powered by eight motors. It’s designed to be able to carry a single passenger during a 23 minutes’ time flight at sea level at an average 100 km/h speed.

The EHang 184 AAV body consists of a cabin for single passenger with a gull-wing door, a trunk and the power system composed of four arms and eight propellers on the bottom. The four arms, when folded, allow the AAV to occupy the same size parking space as consumer cars.

EHang 184. © EHang.
EHang 184. © EHang.

Inside the cabin, a single seat, similar to that inside a F1 racing car seat. In front of the seat there is a tablet console, through which passengers can easily input commands. Additionally, the cabin’s built-in air conditioner automatically adjusts the in-cabin temperature.
Completed with 4G Wi-Fi Internet, EHang 184 provides passengers with comfortable and enjoyable riding experiences.

Security system

The EHang 184 has built in reinforcements for all flight systems, so that in the unlikely event that a component does fail, multiple backups are already in place to seamlessly take over.

The fail-safety system ensures that if any components malfunction, or if there’s damage while the AAV is in-flight (i.e. from a bird), the aircraft will immediately begin taking the necessary precautions to ensure safety. The 184’s Fail-Safe System automatically evaluates the damage and determines whether the AAV will need to land to ensure its passenger’s safety.

Various sets of sensors provide the drone a constant stream of real-time data.
The EHang 184’s communications system was also designed with a safety guarantee: every system is encrypted, and each AAV comes with an independent key.
In the event an emergency occurs, passengers can stop the flight and simply hover in the air with just one click.

While the 184 is able to fly during thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions, the command center can prohibit the AAV from taking off.

Image over the headline.- EHang 184. PRNewsFoto/EHANG

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