Chinese startup Unveils World’s First Passenger Drone

Chinese drone manufacturer Ehang unveiled what they call the world’s first self-piloting, passenger drone at the CES technology conference on Wednesday. The drone will transport a single person to any destination on Google maps, according to the company.

The Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) weighs 200 kilograms (440lbs), and has four sets of paired electric motors. The company claims the batteries can be charged in two to four hours. The drone is controlled via a tablet, which is used to set the flight path before take-off.

Ehang 184 AAV flies in an inverted U shape. It takes off and lands vertically, point to point direct flight based on altitude and latitude of the origin and termination point. Take Off/Landing points are landing targets pre-set with Ehang Logo. The landing camera will position the landing targets automatically and accurately.

Eventually, Ehang hope to introduce “command centers” filled with people who can monitor your flight and take over should an emergency arise, ensuring that you will never be required to pilot your craft.