With the likes of Amazon already developing autonomous drones to deliver goods to your front door with the click of a mouse it is probably not a stretch to imagine autonomous aerial transportation of passengers.
This is exactly the concept proposed by Chinese company Ehang as it unveiled the world’s first passenger drone at CES 2016. – an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) capable of carrying a passenger up to 100km (62 miles). Yes you read that correctly – the age of the Jetsons has arrived with this 500lb electric single seat passenger drone.
The Ehang 184 is a giant but elegantly designed drone; according to the company, it can transport one person approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) in around 23-minutes. It can also carry a payload (that’s the passenger and anything else they take with them) of about 100 kg (220 lbs).
You plan your trip via an app on your smart phone and the drone takes off and delivers you to your destination autonomously whilst you read the latest articles from www.gogeteco.com or search online for the best life insurance deals you can find.
The makers claim that is has a fail safe mode so that anything goes wrong it goes into a hover or finds somewhere safe to land.
The design has built in redundancy with duplicate sensors, eight motors, eight propellors and sensors that prevent it taking off in a storm.
Whilst it is not legal in the US yet (or any other jurisdictions that we know of) it has completed over 100 test flights with an actually live person on board.
Reported to cost in the range of $200,000 to $300,000 its not a cheap way to avoid the traffic but it certainly is a mix between brilliant and crazy – some would even say a potential disruptor.
Are you ready to climb aboard and fly in this drone?
If you feel safer on the ground perhaps check out our top 5 best affordable electric bikes instead.