Ehang 184, the ambitious oversized eight-rotor drone from China introduced at last year’s CES, is reportedly kicking off “regular operations” around Dubai’s sky in July 2017. In fact, according to a report by AP, Ehang 184 has been taking to the skies around Dubai’s Burj Al-Arab skyscraper which, of course, has a helipad for it to land. However, the report did not mention if those flights where with or without people in the craft. I don’t know whether this autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) will be reserved for the elites, or is it part of the grand plan by UAE’s government for a futuristic city. Whatever it is, Ehang’s milestone is a giant stride for short-range city transportation which, to be honest, has been stagnant for many decades now.
The announcement was made by head of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency at the World Government Summit on Monday with the chief, Mattar al-Tayer quoted as saying that the flight is not a mere model, but an actual thing they have already tested. In any case, flying urban transport’s arrival is imminent. On a related news, apparently, Ehang 184’s tech specs and performance have been boosted. According to our source, it now can achieve 30 minutes flight time (as opposed to the initial 23-25 minutes) which naturally boosted its range to up to 31 miles. Payload and capacity remain unschooled though, and so are other details like how it is flew (autonomously and oversee by low-altitude flight command center), et cetera.
Dubai won’t be the only city to flaunt Ehang 184 though; U.S. state of Nevada is said to be seeking FAA’s approval too. Folks, the future here and with it, we will be more efficient, but not without the new found risk. So, next time, not only do you have to check right and left, but also take a note of the sky in case something come hurling down to Earth. Just saying…
Take a look at Ehang 184’s recent test flight below:
Image and source via Engadget.