The Drone Taxi By Ehang
Drone Taxi, Ehang’s one seater quadcopter on demand taxi service could be trialled in Dubai by the end of the year.
Taking to the skies as early as September 2017, Dubai Road and Transport Authority has plans to introduce the autonomous EHang 184 one seater passenger quadcopter, with flight times of 30 minutes and distance of 50Km.
The Ehang 184 drone taxi is is powered by a 142-horsepower electric motor is which is good for an average cruising speed of 62 mph. The Ehang 184 has a span of 18 feet when fully unfolded, weighs 440 lbs, and can carry a passenger weighing up to 264 pounds. Its maximum flying altitude is 11,480 feet, and the AAV can fly for as long as 23 minutes at sea level.
And—get this—the Ehang 184 can be controlled entirely through a mobile app. In fact, Ehang says passengers only have to execute two commands: “take off” and “land.” Once you’ve set your course, the Ehang 184 will take off vertically, and use real-time sensor data to keep you on course.
The main structure is made of a composite material, along with carbon fibre and epoxy. In the cabin, there’s one seat, one control pad, air conditioning, and a reading light. On the outside, there are lights on each of the four propeller arms (red at the front, green at the back), flashing airline signal lights, a downward-facing video camera, and a headlight.
And somewhere on the Ehang 184 AAV, there’s a trunk that fits a 16-inch backpack.
The vehicle’s name is a reference to “one passenger, eight propellers, four arms.” If you’re looking for more propellers and more arms—you know, for extra confidence in this thing staying airbone—you may be comforted by Ehang’s promise of redundant safety systems. For starters, the company says the 184 AAV has multiple power systems, so if one breaks down, the drone can still fly. Beyond that, there’s a failsafe should the flight system crap out on you: If anything malfunctions, the 184 AAV will immediately land in the nearest safe area.
Pricing: Unknown, but likely between $200,000 and $300,000 USD, according to Ehang.