Late last month, EHang announced that it would accelerate its urban air mobility operations due to China announcing the first unmanned civil aviation experimental zones (UCAEZ) to allow EHang and other companies to test out its drones.
The first unmanned civil aviation experimental zones covers 13 cities and includes the following: Beijing, Shanghai, Hezhou, Hangzhou, Zigong, Anyang, Nanjing, Tianjin, Yulin, Shenyang, Dongying, Anqing, and Ganzhou.
These new zones will allow drone companies, EHang being one of them, to test out their drone platforms in a safe manner without worrying about other aircraft or dangers that are associated with testing drones.
The zones will allow EHang to accelerate its operations in passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, air logistics, aerial firefighting, emergency rescue, and medical transportation.
Thanks to the zones, EHang also plans on launching a regular delivery service under the guidance of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the UCAEZs. This will allow drones to become more of a normal sight above Chinese cities and hopefully prompt the rest of the world.
In May, the CAAC announced that it would begin looking into launching these experimental zones to organize and make it easier for the industry to take off. It also said that the zones have integrated “convenient channels” for airworthiness, operation, air traffic control, and business licensing. The UCAEZs also allow local governments to actively participate in drone developments and companies to use infrastructure that’s already in place.
Earlier this year, we shared the news that EHang will be partnering with hotel developer LN Holdings to create a passenger drone hotel for the first time ever. The drones will land on the hotel’s property and take visitors to popular sites around Nansha, Guangzhou, such as the Canton Tower, Beijing Road, and the Pearl River. EHang also announced that it will begin trailing cargo flights using its passenger drones to collect data to see if the drones are a viable means of transport.