The era of autonomous flying taxis is steadilyapproaching, several dozen development companies are testing their devices, getting permission from regulators and getting ready for mass production of passenger drones. The Chinese company EHang is actively testing its taxi drones in the skies of Europe and China, for the first time received permission from the US regulatory authorities to conduct flight tests in the United States.
EHang is currently eligible fortest flights of their drones without passengers. For the first time, Chinese flying taxis took to the air in North America in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina. The event was attended by representatives of state authorities, including the Governor and representatives of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which issued the license for the test.
Representatives of the American regulator expressedhope that the use of air transport for urban transport will be able to solve many problems of congested transport arteries and have a favorable impact on the environmental situation.
During a test flight lasting 5minutes, the EHang 216 flew along a predetermined route at a speed of up to 130km / h. An electric drone rises into the air thanks to 16 rotors and has its own mass - 270 kg.
In the next phase of testing, EHang plans to launch a drone with passengers on board. However, formal approval by the FAA regulator must be obtained.
At home of EHang company, in China test,cited under the supervision of the national regulator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, are already approaching the final stage. In the most favorable scenario, by February, the company may obtain permission for the commercial use of passenger taxi drones.
China's first area to be plannedlaunch flying urban carriers, is the city of Guangzhou, whose population has reached 15 million and continues to grow rapidly. Currently, in parallel with obtaining permission from the authorities, EHang is creating a flight control center and building landing sites for future flying taxis.