Ehang 184 Passenger Drone Could Soon Fly Around Dubai

The Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority says the Ehang 184 passenger-carrying drone could be flying people around the UAE's biggest city starting in July 2017.

The Ehang 184 passenger-carrying drone, which debuted and stole the show at CES 2016, could be flying in Dubai starting in July 2017. The head of the Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority says Ehang’s 184 could fly people around the United Arab Emirates’ biggest city.

“The autonomous aerial vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model,” authority head Mattar al-Tayer said, according to the Associated Press. “We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky.”

The Ehang 184 debuted in Dubai by flying over the city’s iconic, sail-shaped Burj al-Arab skyscraper hotel. The Ehang 184 has a battery life that allows for 30 minutes of flying to cover about 30 miles. It has a top speed of 100 MPH, but Dubai officials say it will be operated typically at 62 MPH.

All passengers need to do is select their destination. Then the Ehang 184 takes off autonomously follows the route. Ehang has said the 184 has all sorts of built-in failsafes, including multiple power backups and auto-landing in case of trouble.

The Ehang 184 can recharge in two hours and will be remotely monitored from a control room. However, there’s no option to take control of the Ehang 184 remotely and the cockpit, except for a smartphone/tablet stand and a cup holder, is empty.

The UAE says it wants a quarter of its means of transport to be autonomous by 2030.

In mid-2016, Nevada authorities said it would partner with EHang to test the 184 to possibly be cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration.




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Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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