China-based urban air mobility (UAM) company EHang has announced that it has selected Guangzhou, China, as the first city in which it will establish a low-altitude passenger transportation network using its autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV). As part of the arrangement, EHang will work with the city government to build necessary infrastructure, design safety rules and market entry thresholds, and set up a command-and-control center “to ensure that multiple AAVs flying simultaneously in the city can remain in the air in a safe and efficient manner and can swiftly respond to emergencies.”
“We are very excited about exploring the various meaningful ways in which AAVs can solve some of the stressors our congested cities face,” said EHang founder and CEO Hu Huazhi. “We are in conversations with other cities, not just in China, to develop safe, efficient and affordable autonomous air transportation.”
EHang was selected by the Civil Aviation Administration of China as the country’s pilot company for passenger AAV development in January 2019. During its first series of public pre-programmed flights in Vienna, Austria, last April, the EHang AAV carried a total of 17 passengers. According to the company, the vehicle has successfully completed more than two thousand test flights.
Nothing is scarier than “autonomous” and “flying” and “sharp whirling blades”.
I guess China is fine with releasing potential death machines into high density populations and trusting software version 1.0.12? Well, good luck.