A Chinese startup has developed a flying car that it plans to roll out as soon as next year.
EHang Inc.’s E-184 drone can carry one passenger in its small cockpit, but the firm says it’s working on a model that can carry two. EHang’s CEO Hu Huazhi says they’ll be in operation as “taxi drones” in Dubai in 2018 — as long as they get approval from regulators there. Four battery-powered propellers lift the drone off the ground, and it’s equipped with fully-automated navigation, according to CEO Hu. Passengers select a pre-programmed flight path and then strap in for the ride.
The E-184 has a cruising speed of up to 100 kilometres n hour and can stay in the air for 25 minutes, the company says.
It’s being tested at EHang’s headquarters: a theme-park on the outskirts of Guangzhou, southern China, a city that’s at the vanguard of the country’s push to move away from cheap, low-end manufacturing and towards cutting-edge technology.
EHang has big ambitions — it wants to develop a network of taxi drones around the world. EHang plans to sign deals in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and “several European cites” next year, the CEO said.