Let’s be honest we all thought we’d be traveling around in flying cars, have automated sidewalks, and have robots doing all our annoying chores by now. While it hasn’t happened yet flying around in your own personal drone might be a possibility in the not too distant future.
Chinese drone makers, EHang, have created the world’s first “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle” that people can travel in. “I think in all of us there is that little kid that says I want to fly…We’re making that dream happen,” the co-founder, George Yan gushes. The 184 drone is an all-electric vehicle with four arms and eight total propellors. The drone is completely automated so all you’d have to do is enter in their destination on their smartphone app and let the drone do the rest.
There’s no option to take control of the 184 remotely. The cockpit is empty apart from a dock for your smartphone or tablet and a cupholder “Everything is calculated in the backend to pick the most optimal route for you, so there is no collision with other drones flying. On the drone itself we have built pretty sophisticated back up services so if another system fails then another will take over,” explains Yan.
The drone is designed for short-to-medium distances, around 10 miles, and can travel up to 60 mph. Ehang will have a command center that employs people to make sure everything is running safe and smoothly. The command center will monitor every 184 in the air 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The aerial vehicle has been in development for 2 and a half years and while there is no official launch date, depending on safety tests and future drone regulations, but they are planning on releasing a commercial version later this year.
Check out the launch video from CES2016 below!