At CES in 2016 it was just an idea, in 2017 EHang were keen to show the test flights they’d made in the EHang 184 and now we know why, they’re about to hit the skies for real – flying above and around Dubai as personal transport drones.
Reports from the Associated Press suggest that Dubai’s transport boss Mattar al-Tayer announced the plans to use the EHang 184 at the World Government Summit. He is quoted as saying “This is not only a model,” al-Tayer said. “We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”
It’s not known if they will be run for a specific purpose, open for tourist use or personal transport such as Uber – and wouldn’t Uber love this! In fact, it’s not confirmed they will carry passengers – though the video above strongly indicates it will! This could be for delivery style operations also.
EHang’s theory is to control a global network of these personal transport drones from a central command center so one can only assume this Dubai service will be the debut use for this command center.
Importantly, there is no flight control experience required, inside the EHang 184 you are just a passenger, at most you choose a destination on a touch screen, the aircraft flies itself.
Amazing leap forward in the transport world, and frankly, impressive.
But also a little frightening! The real question is – would you fly in one?