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Drone taxi to be tested in Nevada

6/9/2016, Milan Šurkala
Ehang 184 drone is a new type of drone that is able to carry passengers but it still flies without any human pilot. Such a vehicle can work as a drone taxi and the company is going to start the tests in Nevada.
The Chinese Ehang company has developed a new 184 drone that was already presented at some exhibitions (CES 2016) and it is going to be tested in Nevada this year (by Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems). This drone is an autonomous vehicle without any pilot but it can carry one human. The human inside is the passenger only as he cannot directly control the vehicle. Therefore, Ehang 184 may work as a drone taxi if such a vehicle would be permitted in the future.
Ehang 184 drone
Ehang 184 weighs 200 kilograms and the load capacity is 100 kilograms. The maximal output of 8 motors is 106 kW and total energy consumption is about 14.4 kWh. The aircraft is able to fly for 23 minutes and its battery packs can be charged in 2 to 4 hours. Ehang 184 is able to fly in the height of 500 meters and its maximum speed is 100 km/h (62 mph).
Ehang 184 drone
The cabin is 2074 mm long and 1018 mm wide, the entire vehicle including propellers is almost 3.9 meters wide and long. The length of the propellers is 1.5 meters. There is a 12-inch tablet inside the cabin. Carbon fibre and aerial alluminum alloy were used in the construction of the aircraft. The biggest question is if there is a market for such a vehicle. Nowadays, its very short fly time (and relatively long charging) limits its use as a drone taxi. Also the FAA approval can be quite a big problem for these vehicles.
Ehang 184 drone