Ehang’s 184 AAV (Autonomous Aerial Vehicle) is designed to carry a single human passenger, autonomously flying them from one location to another.
The idea behind the Chinese-built 184 is that users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the “take-off” button. The drone’s automated flight systems will take over from there, managing tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation – it will always choose the fastest yet safest route between its present location and its destination.
No word yet on what the FAA will say… Or who will pony up the estimated $2-300K to fly in a Swatch. But someone very urban will – what a great way to go rooftop to rooftop in Manhattan, or to beat the traffic home from the train.
Meanwhile, Ehang makes all kinds of drones so if nothing else this was a PR stroke of genius. Props to all involved.