The EHang 184 Is the Mother of All Drones

Because the International Consumer Electronics Show is currently underway in Las Vegas, all you hear all day is technology, driverless cars and carmakers bragging about their developments. Chinese company EHang thought to break the monotony and came up with the EHang 184, a fully autonomous drone that fits a human passenger.
EHang 184 6 photos
Photo: EHang
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The 184 is designed to be 100% green as it’s powered only by electricity. Don’t worry, though, because if one set of batteries is malfunctioning, the vehicle can still operate a normal flight plan in full safety conditions.

It features four arms and eight propellers which offer great lifting power and is about four-and-a-half feet tall. It weighs 440 pounds and can carry a single passenger for 23 straight minutes at a speed of 60 mph. That’s enough to get you to work and back home without even touching the ground. The 184 also comes with gull-wing doors.

The giant drone flies in an inverted U shape, takes off and lands vertically, and travels from point to point based on altitude and latitude of the origin and termination point.

If there’s bad weather, you’ll still be able to get to work because it is thunderstorm-proof. The 184 is always connected to a low-altitude command center, and during extreme weather conditions, the center will prohibit the drone to fly.

Because it’s fully automatic, the passengers will input the destination and have no control during the flight. EHang insists on the fact that its product is fail-safe and says that, thanks to multiple backups for each flight system, it will safely land if a passenger’s life is at risk.

Of course, some years will pass and a lot of clearances will be needed, especially from the FAA, until we get to see the 184 flying above our heads, but even so, it still sounds cool. EHang was founded in 2014, and until now it has raised about $50 million in venture funding, so the possibility of being a vaporware is slightly lower than with other start-up companies.
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