Autonomous Drone EHang 184 Will Carry People Like a Personal Car
Are we finally catching up to George from the cartoon The Jetsons? Drones are the latest technology in the history of modernization. Now there is a drone capable of carrying a person! The Chinese Drone company, EHang, created the EHang 184 which stands for 1 drone with 8 propellers and 4 arms. The 184 is about the size of a car and pretty much everything is automated. The person inside sets up the map for their destination, then presses a button to take off and then the drone does the rest.
The EHang 184 is an all-electric quadcopter and will carry one human up to 220 pounds. It can fly for up to 23 minutes, up to 62 mph and up to 11,000 feet which is about 2 miles in altitude! The arms fold up allowing for easy parking.
There are of course many questions regarding safety and will not likely be legal in the USA for quite some time. China has less restrictive laws which will allow people to purchase and use the drone. EHang staff have been testing the drone proving that it works and is safe for travel. Clearly this drone adds a new page in the history book of drone technology.
The pilot passenger can only manually control takeoff and landing or pause flight features. The 184 will automatically avoid obsticals and handle all the flight logistics autonomously.
Concerning accessories, there is room for a large backpack in the storage area. It includes 4G internet connection, air conditioning and a reading light. Personally, I think it would awesome for taking pictures! Wouldn’t it be great to fly over your favorite vacation spot, shooting pictures as you go?
The big issue is safety, how will it handle avoiding other aircraft and birds? According to EHang a full failsafe system is built in to avoid crashes and there is a specially designed system to be sure that it lands safely. As time goes along more manual controls may be added in case of an emergency.
At this time the price is not in the range most of us shelling out extra cash for. The first commercial model is expected to cost $200,000 to $300,000. The word is they plan to start selling the drones later this year.