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Big Oil, Meet Your Next Rival: The Flying Car

Big Oil, Meet Your Next Rival: The Flying Car thumbnail

At a time when EVs and driverless technology are all the rage, Chinese drone maker EHANG has posted footage of the latest test flights of its EHANG 184 passenger-carrying all-electric autonomous aerial vehicle.

According to the Chinese company that was created in 2014, the EHANG 184 series is “the world’s first passenger drone capable of carrying a single person at up to 130 km/h and in force 7 typhoon conditions.”

The autonomous aerial vehicle achieved a series of manned flight tests carrying one and two passengers, including the company’s chief executive officer and all executives, as well as many Guangzhou government officials, EHANG said this week.

“Performing manned test flights enables us to demonstrate the safety and stability of our vehicles,” EHANG founder and chief executive Huazhi Hu said in a company statement.

“What we’re doing isn’t an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first. Now that we’ve successfully tested the EHANG 184, I’m really excited to see what the future holds for us in terms of air mobility,” he noted.

While the tests have been a success, the flying autonomous vehicle is not in its finished state yet, and those wanting to jump into their own ‘autonomous flying car’ may have to wait a little longer.

The EHANG 184 will undergo additional improvements, including in passenger experience, in which passengers with piloting experience will be given the choice to operate the vehicle manually. The company has also developed and tested a two-seat autonomous flying vehicle with a payload of up to 280 kg.

As for when these passenger drones will be available for public use, EHANG’s Hu commented in the press release:

“This is a step-by-step process. And at EHANG, we have our own road map. When it comes to the development and application of any transformative technology, first the technological innovation makes an impact, then the relevant policies are created and developed. This goes on to push further development of the industry.”

16 Comments on "Big Oil, Meet Your Next Rival: The Flying Car"

  1. Anonymouse1 on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 7:53 pm 

    Come on cloggen-zimmer. Flying cars, or ‘drones’, as if there some qualitative difference. This one has your name all over it. Been up for almost half and day and you haven’t rolled in to claim millions of these exist(now) in your native Israel.

  2. dissident on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 8:06 pm 

    I suppose this thing will be powered by the CH4 released from the anus of the pilot and the passengers.

    You know, fighting gravity costs a lot of energy. No ground contact vehicle needs to expend this energy. People need to look into the economics of Cessna single propeller planes to evaluate this utopian proposal.

  3. Anonymouse1 on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 8:23 pm 

    Yes, but this has been rebranded as a ‘drone’. In the same way RC (radio-controlled) models disappeared, and were all replaced almost overnight by well….drones.

    Since flying car sounds so 60’s, and, of course, never materialized in the first place, why not re-brand the idea and call it a ‘drone’ instead. Everyone loves ‘drones’. Except for those attending weddings….. or funerals anywhere in the middle east (of people killed in previous amerikan drone attacks).

    So, sweep flying cars under the rug, forget RC planes and or models, or, even, like diss says, passenger planes. Get your marketing dept to re-label your stupid idea as a ‘drone’, and its off to the races, or moon, or where ever you want your flying car…drone, to take you.

  4. Sissyfuss on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 11:24 pm 

    Flying cars. And what about his boy, Elroy?

  5. Cloggie on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 11:45 pm 

    An absolute nightmare, the skies full with these XXL wasps.

    You with 5 others in a 6-person, self-driving taxi-van, that’s more like it.

  6. Mad Kat on Wed, 7th Feb 2018 11:56 pm 

    Another techie dream/nightmare. lol

  7. Cloggie on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 12:01 am 

    The all-solar car “LightYear One” won a Climate Change Award, handed-over at CES-award:

    The car is a spin-off from my Alma Mater in Eindhoven-Holland, the guys that always win the Solar Challenge race for solar powered-cars in Australia.

    One of the driving forces behind the project lightyear one [*] is the guy in this video at [1:23] Lex Hoefsloot:

    [*] – the name LightYear One is derived from the fact that humanity cumulatively drives a distance per year roughly equal to one lightyear. The somewhat megalomaniac ambition is to ensure that said humanity will drive this distance solar-powered. For $145$ a bargain, really. Now open your wallets please, it’s for your own good.

  8. deadly on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 5:43 am 

    You can ride in that thing, not me, no freaking way.

  9. TheNationalist on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:57 am 

    As a pilot I’m still trying to figure out how all these private company drones zooming everywhere in cities ain’t going to hit each other. Christ, our air traffic control now is inefficient and struggling with the large seperstion between aircraft in controlled airspace.
    My other vission is of some kid or old granny getting killed by Clinton’s new autobiography as it falls from the clutches of one of amazons new wonder drones made in China.

  10. TheNationalist on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:59 am 

    its up to you really

  11. Jef on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 9:21 am 

    Whats the glide ratio on that thing? ever see what happens to a quad-drone when one of the four fans fails?

  12. Newfoundlander on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 9:35 am 

    Fusion power, flying cars and settlements on Mars. The future is going to be grand. ROTFLMAO.

  13. Ghung on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:07 pm 

    Jef; “Whats the glide ratio on that thing? ever see what happens to a quad-drone when one of the four fans fails?”

    If you go to the links there’s much more. It has eight fans and they claim it can fly on four if they are on at least three of the pylons. Said everything has redundancy.

  14. Mad Kat on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:38 pm 

    Ghung, yep. Gravity ALWAYS works and they will fall like a rock when the rotors cut out for some reason (computer failure?). Ever have your car stall out when you are flying along at 60+ mph? I have. Computer chip in the carb failed, cutting off the gas to the engine. ($500 repair, plus towing, ~20 years ago.) All the power braking and steering stops and then you hope you can safely get to the side of the highway. When one of those flying toys stop … I know where it is going. lol

  15. Mad Kat on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:55 pm 

    At least it would fix the collapsing bridges problem. lol

    “Infrastructure Emergency: 50,000 American Bridges Are “Structurally Deficient”

    Slip slidin to the 3rd world…

  16. MASTERMIND on Thu, 8th Feb 2018 8:56 pm 

    Trifecta of opioids, alcohol and suicide are blamed for the drop in U.S. life expectancy

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