Our world is rapidly changing and so is the way we get around. With the recent increase in the popularity of drones the people at Ehang, a Guangzhou, China-based drone company, have developed the worlds first Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV). The Ehang 184 stands for 1 passenger 8 propellers and 4 wings. It is a 142-horsepower “personal flying vehicle” that can transport a single human being from Point A to Point B at an altitude of more than 11,480 feet.
The Chinese firm’s 184 AAV drone, was first featured at this years CES 2016 in Las Vegas. It flies in an inverted U shape and takes off and lands vertically: Basically the AAV flies upward in an arc and then descends, completing the arc and the inverted U shape.
The drone has a landing camera that positions the landing points. Passengers will simply input their destination on the built-in touch screen interface and the drone will plot the fastest and safest course. The drone will only be for short flights of up to 23 minutes and will fly at a maximum altitude of 3.5km, achieving a cruising speed of 62mph.
The AAV cabin has room for one passenger and comes equipped with a control pad, air condition, a reading light and trunk for short to medium transportation solutions.
The main structure is made of a composite material, along with carbon fiber and epoxy. On the outside, there are lights on each of the four propellor arms (red at the front, green at the back), flashing airline signal lights, a downward-facing video camera, and a headlight.
Availability & Pricing
Pricing: Unknown, but likely between $200,000 and $300,000 USD, according to Ehang.
Availability: Also unknown, and so is it’s legality, however the company addresses legal concerns in its explainer:
“Because the 184 AAV represents an entirely new category of technology, there are regulations and agencies that are still catching up. We are in uncharted waters, and are working closely with government agencies across the planet to develop and regulate the future of transportation.”
More info: Ehang