From cars to planes to even our smart phones, they are technologies that the past generations would only dare to imagine. For them, we are living in their future. Flying cars have been part of many of our imaginations and themes of fantasy movies; now we are one step closer to our visions. Beijing Yi-Hang Creation Science and Technology Corporation created the autonomous passenger drone, the Ehang 184, which they described as the ‘safest, smartest and most Eco-friendly low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle.’ Ehang 184 was first shown last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, since the first appearance, it is rumoured to have been improved to carry more weight and able to fly quicker and for a longer period.
The current Ehang 184 has four arms which each holds two electric motors to power two propellers, it takes off and lands vertically, which eliminates the use of run ways and resembles a quadcopter drone but with a capacity that can fit humans. This powerful new technology has the battery power to fly more than 25 minutes with an average cruising speed of 100 kilometres per hour and a payload of 120kg. Surprisingly, it can be fully charged within 3 hours and can fly up to a maximum of 3000 meters above sea level. This highly autonomous vehicle has its own flight control computer that is linked with a command centre, which will detect any obstacles, diagnose issues and in the case of emergency situations, the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure the safety of the passenger and people in surrounding areas. Since the vehicle is autonomous, the passenger only needs to select their destination with a touch and take off.
Dubai, the innovative city that already has the tallest building and 3D printed office, has yet again lead the world in technology, launching the first no driver taxi service this month. The launch is the first step of the city’s vision of a more extensive futuristic transit system, hoping to have 25 percent of all vehicles to be automated by 2030. The head of Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority, Matt Al Tayer, said that Ehang 184 has been tested in the Dubai skylines and has been proven to be safe avoiding all obstacles and performed amazingly. The drone will be used mainly for VIP passengers to transit to local destinations such as from the airport to the centre of the city.
This high-profile divine service introduction of the Ehang 184 is a victory not just for Chinese unmanned aviation Manship, but also futurity visions of autonomous and networked systems being used to navigate crowded urban airspace. On the defence side, the Ehang 184's innovation can potentially be applied to medical evacuation, logistics, and even swarming systems on land, air and sea. Meanwhile, the achievement of Ehang 184 in Dubai could open the skies of other worldwide urban centres to it and other Chinese tech wonders.
Ehang 184 official website: http://www.ehang.com/ehang184/