Ehang, the Chinese firm that makes an autonomous, passenger-carrying drone, has flown the device in Beijing. It’s the first time the EH216 has flown over Beijing, which is a pretty busy airspace.
Urban Air Mobility is coming. It’s no longer a question of if, but when. At some point within likely the next five years, several major cities will have drones delivering goods and likely people in urban airspace. EHang aims to be a leader in this field and has been testing its EH216, which uses 16 motors and has a number of redundant mechanisms.
And now the company has hit another milestone.
“Northern capital” is what the word Beijing means in Mandarin – and that’s obviously what it is. A news release from EHang says it has now successfully put its EH216 in the air there.
In February 2021, two units of EH216 completed a total of five unmanned trial flights over the frozen Yanqi Lake in Beijing at an air temperature of minus 14 degrees Celsius. EHang believes trial flights in extreme weather and diversified environments demonstrate the safety and reliability of its cutting-edge AAV technologies. EHang has tested the EH216 with a series of successful trial flights in extreme conditions such as low temperature, hot desert, heavy fog and typhoons. It was the first time that a passenger-grade AAV flied over the capital of China, a highly regulated airspace in China. These unmanned trial flights obtained the official approval from the airspace regulator.
There’s video, too
The company released this video of the EH216’s trial flights in Beijing:
EHang has now carried out more than 10,000 EH216 trial flights, including flights with passengers, in 42 cities across eight countries. It has been working closely with international regulatory authorities on UTM and Urban Air Mobility protocols.
Recently, a negative report about the company drove its stock down. The company refutes the allegations contained in the report and has stated its intention to pursue legal action.