Presented at CES, the 184 drone from the Chinese firm Ehang offers a brand new means of personal aerial transport using a drone, self-piloted to avoid personal injury.
Among the stars of this CES 2016 in Las Vegas, is the first concept of the Chinese company Ehang. The 184 drone is the first autonomous drone that can accommodate passengers.
Still in the state of “proof-of-concept”, the Ehang 184 thus wants to offer an alternative means of urban transportation, able to compete with the services of Uber for example, which is working on an autonomous vehicle.
This year in Las Vegas, the CES visitors could discover this strange machine, halfway between a huge drone and a small personal helicopter. On the occasion of one of its first public test flights, the participants of the innovation show (Aruco was present on the spot) could even discover the promise of the Ehang 184: a simple, punctual and inexpensive personal air transport.
This first civilian passenger drone is powered by 4 dual propellers to take it up to 3.5 kilometers in altitude at a speed of about 100 km/h. Ehang recommends to fly between 300 and 500 meters of altitude to benefit from aerodynamic advantages and to avoid… the planes!
Rather cramped, the cabin of the Ehang drone presented this year allows for the moment to carry only a passenger of 100 kg (luggage included) which will have to set its flight plan as one would set a simple GPS.
From this moment, the Ehang 184 theoretically takes the controls: the user will only have to press the takeoff and landing controls.
For the moment, Ehang concedes that the autonomy of its personal transport drone is ‘only’ 23 minutes. But the rapid progress in the field of batteries promises that this limit will disappear quickly…