Picture yourself going home after work on an autonomous aerial vehicle – a combination of drone and small helicopter – rather than being stuck in traffic. That will soon become a reality in this Chinese city!
As a Guangzhou-based company has announced it is cooperating with the local government to build a low-altitude aviation transportation network for AAVs.
Charges are almost the
same as taking a taxi
Generally used to transport goods, “the network will shuttle passengers in a safe, fast, environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and intelligent way,” said Hu Huazhi, founder and chairman of technology company Ehang.
The company, in cooperation with the Guangzhou government, will open the service to the public in 2021.
“We will launch pilot routes above the city roads this year,” Hu said. According to Hu, the company has finished the development of an application to allow passengers to pre-order the flying service.
“Passengers are allowed to pick up the drones at a designated station downtown, with charges being almost the same as taking a taxi,” Hu said.
He said the company is working with the local government to build more landing stations in the city in the following years.
No More Traffic Jams in the Future?
Ehang tried to test a flight line in Tianhe District, Guangzhou. The starting point was the unit staff dormitory building of their company, and the end point was the company test flight field. Through the establishment of this flight line, the first daily commuter route was built in downtown Guangzhou. It may take 7-8 minutes in the past, and now it can be completed in less than 2 minutes. ”
During the year, the company plans to open four flight lines in Guangzhou. Hu said, “We have done the calculation. In the past, it took half an hour to drive, and the future will be completed within 3 minutes.”
Do you meet the criteria for “flying”?
On the afternoon of the 13th, the reporter saw the latest product “Ehang 216”, which is a two-person pilot aircraft.
Height, weight and age restrictions
- Weigh less than 100 kilos,
- No more than 2.2 meters tall,
- Over 5 years of age
There is a seat belt protection device inside the aircraft. The passenger can perform the simple operation without the training, and the aircraft will automatically travel according to the designed height and flight route.
Hu also told reporters with personal experience that the take-off and flight process will be as smooth as taking the elevator, and citizens without heart disease can take it.
“We also plan to design a mobile reservation system to reduce queues or waiting time for citizens.”
In the future, it will cooperate with local weather stations to provide early warning of weather conditions to ensure flight safety.
Q1. “How can AAV achieve early warning or safe flight in the event of a strong typhoon or heavy rain?”
A1. The person in charge said: In the past three or four years, AAV has carried out hundreds of manned tests in strong typhoon weather such as Typhoon Mangosteen and Typhoon Hato, and has the ability to resist typhoon.
Q2. Can “flying taxi” really be achieved? Will it be subject to air traffic control or actual landing restrictions?
A2. According to relevant professionals, the relevant regulations of the State Council and the Office of the Air Traffic Control Commission of the Central Military Commission, there is a requirement that “light drones can fly in airspace below 120 meters in true height”.
However, the specific flight line landing point that can be achieved still needs to be set by the relevant government departments to carefully plan and avoid densely populated areas.
Q3. Why can this company conduct air traffic pilots in cities?
A3. It is reported that in September 2018, Ehang became the first pilot program for airworthiness certification of manned-class self-driving aircraft granted by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and assisted the Civil Aviation Administration of China to jointly explore relevant standards with the actual test data of Ehang AAV.
Ehang, based in Guangzhou, has selected the city as its pilot city for the establishment of a low-altitude aviation transportation network.
AAV will also be used in three industries
Autonomous Aerial Vehicle(AAV)
As part of the pilot program, Ehang will help the local government set up a command-and-control center to ensure that multiple AAVs flying simultaneously can remain safe yet efficient.
AAV Command and Control Center
It will also help the city build the basic infrastructure to support urban air mobility, including by designing safety rules and market entry thresholds.
Unmanned Aircraft Distribution
In the Guangdong province, the company will carry out the practice of unmanned aircraft logistics distribution,
Expand the scope of distribution,
Expand the types of distribution items,
Form point-to-point distribution,
It will help Guangzhou to establish a new mode of transportation for “unmanned aircraft distribution”.
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SOURCE | Chinadaily/Sina