Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Autonomous Single Passenger Electric Drone Unveiled At CES

Originally published on Gas2.

Disruption is the hot concept in transportation these days. Everyone from Elon Musk to Paul Elio think he has invented the next new thing, the idea that will stand everything we know about getting from here to there on its head.

Meet the mother of all disruptors — the EHang 184. What is it? Why, it’s an electric drone that can carry one 220 lb person in air conditioned comfort to a height of 11,500 feet. It has a maximum speed of 63 mph and can stay aloft for 23 minutes at sea level. It also flies itself autonomously. All the passenger does is program in a flight plan. After that, the EHang 184 responds only to 2 commands,  “Take off” and “Land.” They are entered by clicking a Microsoft Surface tablet. Once on the ground, it folds so it takes up no more room than an ordinary passenger car.

Once airborne, there are no in-flight controls. In the event of an emergency, the company would use a remote control center to land the electric drone safely says EHang co-founder and chief financial officer Shang Hsiao  It should be pointed out that no such remote control center currently exists.

EHang’s marketing officer, Derrick Xiong, told the at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that the electric drone has flown more than 100 times at low altitude in a forested area in Guangzhou, China. Several of those trips were made with an actual (very nervous) person on board.

Xiong adds that one thing that makes quad-copters safer than helicopters is the number of propellers it has. Even if three of the four arms have their propellers disabled, propellers on the remaining arm can ensure a safe if somewhat rough landing by spiraling down to the ground.

Shang Hsaio says the EHang 184 will retail for $200,000 to $300,000 dollars, if and when it is ever imported to the US. Federal regulators are having a hard enough time creating new rules to govern the commercial drones that and FedEX want to use. Adding a human passenger to the mix would complicate things considerably. The company says it has raised over $50,000,000 in capital from investors so far.

Reprinted with permission.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


You May Also Like


If you are an urban planner or policy maker engaged with urban air mobility, be aware that the bloom is distinctly off this rose,...


Betting against batteries for electric rotorcraft is like betting against bandwidth in 2000.


Simplicity is the silver bullet of electric rotorcraft.


There's a deep disconnect between the purported urban taxi business models and most of the graphics these eVTOL companies use, which hides a yawning...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.