Engineering Blog: Car-Sized Autonomous Drone of the Future

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EHang, a Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company, unveiled at 2016 CES the EHang 184, the world’s first electric, personal Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) that will achieve humanity’s long-standing dream of easy, everyday flight for short-to-medium distances.

The EHang 184, which was named for ‘one’ passenger, ‘eight’ propellers, and ‘four’ arms, is the next wave of innovation from EHang. Having already released a successful consumer product with their Ghost Drone line, EHang is now creating another disruptive and innovative technology to propel us towards the future of solo human transport.

The 184 uses multiple independent flight control systems to automatically navigate passengers from point A to point B. These systems combine real-time data collected from sensors throughout the flight and automatically plot the fastest and safest route to carry passengers to their destinations.

The EHang 184 AAV takes off and lands vertically, subsequently eliminating the need for runways. Its foldable design solves the logistical and spatial issues that have constrained airplanes and other modes of air-travel from expanding into daily use. Mass-adoption of the 184 has the potential to streamline congested traffic and dramatically reduce the kinds of accidents associated with any human-operated vehicle.
It is 100 percent electric and doesn’t depend on fossil fuels.

Standing 1.5 meters tall and weighing 200 kilograms (440 pounds), the EHang 184 AAV has a load capacity of 100 kilograms (220 pounds), with the maximum output of 106W powered by eight motors. It’s designed to have the capability to carry a single passenger for 23 minutes’ duration flight at sea level at average cruising speed of 100 km/h.

Inside the cabin is placed a single seat, with a design similar to an F1 racing car seat. In front of the seat is a tablet console, through which passengers can easily input commands. Additionally, the cabin’s built-in air conditioner automatically adjusts the in-cabin temperature. Complete with 4G Wi-Fi Internet, EHang 184 provides passengers with comfortable and enjoyable riding experiences.

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