Today EHang announced that it has successfully completed the first trial flights of its EH216 over the sea of Southern China; the autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) took off from Hengqin New District and landed at Dong Ao Island in Zhuhai City. Earlier this week, the company also announced the completion of unmanned test flights in Beijing, marking the first time that a passenger-grade AAV flied over the capital of China, a highly regulated airspace in China. These unmanned trial flights obtained the official approval from the CAAC, China’s airspace regulator, and are featured in the short video below:

EHang’s demonstration over the South China Sea was strategically located over a popular tourist destination: Dong Ao Island is known for its pleasant natural scenery, and has the market potential for developing short-to-medium distance air travel related scenarios in coastal areas. Compared with traditional sightseeing ferries and helicopters, the purely electric passenger-grade AAV uses point-to-point direct flight, which is safer, more efficient and carbon emission-free.  It can unlock new perspectives for passengers to enjoy the scenery in the sky and provide a safer, more comfortable and more personal flight experiences.  As aerial flight technologies continue to evolve, AAVs powered by clean energy have become a new trend of low-altitude tourism.

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The EH216 AAV conducting its first trial flights near Dong Ao Island, located in the south-central part of Wanshan Archipelago of Zhuhai City, February 2021. Credit // EHang

Moving forward, EHang will continue to development of aerial island tourism and explore new application scenarios of AAV technologies. EHang also intends to promote a new use case model of “urban air mobility (UAM) + leisure tourism” in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the goal of building international tourism destinations.  This will lay a solid foundation for the subsequent development of aerial sightseeing routes and operations.

Why it’s important: As of February 2021, EHang has successfully conducted more than 10,000 trial flights of its EH216 AAV, including passenger-carrying trial flights, in 42 cities across 8 countries. Additionally, the company has been working closely with the regulatory authorities on regulations and industry standards for urban air mobility. EHang has vocalized its intention to continue strict compliance with regulatory requirements and drive the industry development, which will assist in making safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone.

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Source // EHang press release

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