EHang launches autonomous aerial vehicle, ushers in AAV tech

LAS VEGAS, 7 Jan. 2016. EHang, a Chinese manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also commonly referred to as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, is unveiling the EHang 184 electric, personal autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) that will achieve humanity's long-standing dream of easy, everyday flight for short-to-medium distances.

Jan 7th, 2016
EHang launches autonomous aerial vehicle, ushers in AAV tech
EHang launches autonomous aerial vehicle, ushers in AAV tech

LAS VEGAS, 7 Jan. 2016. EHang, a Chinese manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also commonly referred to as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, is unveiling the EHang 184 electric, personal autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) that will achieve humanity's long-standing dream of easy, everyday flight for short-to-medium distances.

Developed independently by EHang, the ready-to-fly drone can carry a passenger through the air simply by entering a destination into its accompanying smartphone app. EHang's 24/7, real-time flight command center boasts automated navigation, removing the need for passengers to have a pilot's license. “They simply sit back and let the drone take over from there,” company officials explain. “This first realization of automated flight signifies a major turning point not only for the transportation industry, but also for a huge swath of other fields such as shipping, medical care, and retail.”

"It's been a lifetime goal of mine to make flight faster, easier, and more convenient than ever. The 184 provides a viable solution to the many challenges the transportation industry faces in a safe and energy efficient way," says EHang CEO Huazhi Hu. "The 184 is evocative of a future we've always dreamed of and is primed to alter the very fundamentals of the way we get around."

The EHang 184 -- named for 'one' passenger, 'eight' propellers, and 'four' arms -- is intended to be a disruptive and innovative technology helping propel the world toward the future of solo human transport.

Key features include:

Safety

  • Elimination of the most dangerous part of standard modes of transportation: human error, officials say.
  • Built-in reinforcements for all flight systems, so that in the unlikely event that a component does fail, multiple backups are already in place to seamlessly take over.
  • Independently developed Fail-Safe System ensures that if any components malfunction, or if there's damage while the AAV is in-flight (e.g., from a bird), the aircraft will immediately begin taking the necessary precautions to ensure safety. The 184's Fail-Safe System automatically evaluates the damage and determines whether the AAV will need to land to ensure its passenger's safety.
  • Flight control systems have multiple sets of sensors that provide the drone a constant stream of real-time data.
  • Communication system designed with a safety guarantee: every system is encrypted, and each AAV comes with an independent key
  • In the event of an emergency, passengers can elect to halt flight and simply hover in the air with just one click.

Automation

  • Multiple independent flight control systems to automatically navigate passengers from point A to point B. These systems combine real-time data collected from sensors throughout the flight and automatically plot the fastest and safest route to carry passengers to their destinations.

Remedy for Aging Transportation Industry

  • Takes off and lands vertically, subsequently eliminating the need for runways. Its foldable design solves the logistical and spatial issues that have constrained airplanes and other modes of air-travel from expanding into daily use. Mass-adoption of the 184 has the potential to streamline congested traffic and dramatically reduce the kinds of accidents associated with any human-operated vehicle.

Power of Electricity

  • One hundred percent electric and doesn't depend on fossil fuels, reducing our reliance on substances that can be environmentally damaging.

Sync-flight Management Platform

  • An upcoming, advanced low-altitude flight command center will be in constant contact with all its flying vehicles. While the 184 is able to fly during thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions, the command center can prohibit the AAV from taking off as a precaution.

Standing 1.64 yards (1.5 meters) tall and weighing 440 pounds (200 kilograms), the EHang 184 AAV has a load capacity of 220 pounds (100 kilograms), with the maximum output of 106 watts powered by eight motors. It's designed to have the capability to carry a single passenger for a 23-minute duration flight at sea level at average cruising speed of 100 km/h.

The EHang 184 AAV body consists of a cabin for single passenger with a gull-wing door, a trunk and the power system composed of four arms and eight propellers on the bottom. The four arms, when folded, allow the AAV to occupy the same size parking space as consumer cars.

Inside the cabin is a single seat, with a design similar to an F1 racing car seat. In front of the seat is a tablet console, through which passengers can easily input commands. The cabin's built-in air conditioner automatically adjusts the in-cabin temperature, while 4G Wi-Fi Internet enables connectivity, communications, and more.

EHANG Inc. is a technology innovation oriented company specializing in R&D, manufacturing, and sales of intelligent unmanned aerial vehicles.


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