EHang Introduced Passenger Drone at CES 2016
By Staff Writer
Drone technology is getting more exciting. EHang, the manufacturer of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle introduced the first-ever drone able to carry human passenger.
The EHang 184 drone is introduced at the first day of CES 2016 in Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday. It is captivating many people and Tech Crunch even wrote that nothing more eye-catching than the EHang 184, the drone code a human-sized drone.
EHang said that the drone will be totally automated, meaning passengers will pre-input a destination, and have no aspect of human control during the flight. The company says this will make the machine safer by eliminating "the most dangerous part of standard modes of transportation, human error."
However, eliminating human control also indicates to erase human intervention during the flight, and according to TechCrunch that also means passengers are basically helpless in case anything goes wrong. The company assured that their their fail-safe systems include multiple backups for each flight system. It also has an automatic safety landing procedure when passenger life is at risk.
EHang was founded in 2014 with headquarter in Guangzhou. The company has more than 150 employees working in head office and branches located in Beijing, Shanghai and San Francisco. EHang introduced its first Ghost drone series in 2014.
Last year, the new updated Ghost drone, called Ghostdrone 2.0 won the Best Drone award in CES 2015. Its distinctive feature is unique rotors design which is mounted below the arms, unlike other drone in the market.
Now, EHang 184 is the company highlights in CES 2016 as a giant quadcopter designed to carry a single passenger. Digital Trends reported that it needs no pilot, and the cockpit only contain a seat and a small tablet stand with absolutely zero controls. There is neither joystick, steering wheel, buttons, switches, nor control panel.
In order to fly the drone, user just simply sit in the cockpit and launch the mobile app and choose destination. The drone will handle all the piloting and flying navigation by itself.
A company representative told Gizmag that its 184 drone is already fully functional. The drone is scheduled to have its worldwide series of demo flights to begin soon. 184 will be available for sale later this year with price tag between US$200,000 and $300,000.
Hauzi Hu, EHang CEO said regarding the new drone, "The 184 provides a viable solution to the many challenges the transportation industry faces in a safe and energy efficient way. I truly believe that Ehang will make a global impact across dozens of industries beyond personal travel. The 184 is evocative of a future we've always dreamed of and is primed to alter the very fundamentals of the way we get around."