Chinese drone maker EHang has released incredible footage of its 80mph (130kmh) driverless megadrone flying passengers around China for the first time.
The company says it has been testing the EHang 184 megadrone with ‘thousands of test flights’ with human passengers over the last four years and this new footage is the first evidence of the craft in action. The rider punches in a destination on a touch screen in front of the passenger seat, then the drone flies there automatically.
The quadcopter has also been tested in various weather conditions including heat, fog, during the night and during Category 7 typhoon gale-force winds.
Ehang says it has conducted flight tests in both the single and double-seater version of its passenger drone.
The company claims it is going to demonstrate the service at Dubai’s World Government Summit this month, although it has yet to be officially confirmed.
It also completed a 984-foot (300-metre) vertical climb and could carry weights of more than 500 pounds (230kg), writes The Verge.
The quadcopter can fly more than 9.3 miles (15km) and has a high-speed cruising speed of 80.7mph (130kmh).
The company claims to have tested the drone with 40 different passengers, including Wang Dong, the deputy mayor of Guangzhou, China, where the tests have been carried out.
Hu said: ‘Performing manned test flights enables us to demonstrate the safety and stability of our vehicles.
‘What we’re doing isn’t an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first.’
The EHang 184, megadrone is described as the world’s first ‘Autonomous Aerial Vehicle’ for transporting people although it is still not known when the company will make the drone available.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm