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Big Oil, Meet Your Next Rival: The Flying Car

At a time when EVs and driverless technology are all the rage, Chinese drone maker EHANG has posted footage of the latest test flights of its EHANG 184 passenger-carrying all-electric autonomous aerial vehicle.

According to the Chinese company that was created in 2014, the EHANG 184 series is “the world’s first passenger drone capable of carrying a single person at up to 130 km/h and in force 7 typhoon conditions.”

The autonomous aerial vehicle achieved a series of manned flight tests carrying one and two passengers, including the company’s chief executive officer and all executives, as well as many Guangzhou government officials, EHANG said this week.

“Performing manned test flights enables us to demonstrate the safety and stability of our vehicles,” EHANG founder and chief executive Huazhi Hu said in a company statement.

“What we’re doing isn’t an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first. Now that we’ve successfully tested the EHANG 184, I’m really excited to see what the future holds for us in terms of air mobility,” he noted.

While the tests have been a success, the flying autonomous vehicle is not in its finished state yet, and those wanting to jump into their own ‘autonomous flying car’ may have to wait a little longer.

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The EHANG 184 will undergo additional improvements, including in passenger experience, in which passengers with piloting experience will be given the choice to operate the vehicle manually. The company has also developed and tested a two-seat autonomous flying vehicle with a payload of up to 280 kg.

As for when these passenger drones will be available for public use, EHANG’s Hu commented in the press release:

“This is a step-by-step process. And at EHANG, we have our own road map. When it comes to the development and application of any transformative technology, first the technological innovation makes an impact, then the relevant policies are created and developed. This goes on to push further development of the industry.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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