The first passenger-carrying drone could hit the sky very soon.
The Ehang 184, an automatic drone developed in China that can take one passenger for a 23-minute air journey, was among the most-buzzed about prototypes at the Consumer Electronic devices Show in January.
And now, Ehang will take test flights in Nevada, thanks to a partnership with Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), a nonprofit sponsored by the state’s Workplace of Economic Advancement.
The Nevada tests will start later this year. It’s unclear whether human beings fly in these Nevada tests, and Ehang did not instantly react to Tech Expert’s request for comment.
NIAS will likewise work with Ehang to assist it secure approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is vital before Ehang can even get close to meeting the marketplace.
The drone can fly for 23 minutes at speeds of 62 miles per hour. Travelers input their destination, and the drone uses Google Maps to fly there.
The 184 is equipped with sensing units to prevent collisions, but there’s no method for travelers to take control of the drone should something take place during flight. This has actually raised some concerns about simply how safe the drone is.
However Ehang informed CNN in January that the drone will have programs that instantly land the drone in case of an emergency situation and an on-the-ground command center staffed with people to supply back-up.
In the event the Ehang makes it to market, it’s estimated the drone will cost between $200,000 to $300,000.