EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) has announced new progress in implementing real-world Urban Air Mobility (UAM) applications for medical emergency transport uses to combat the coronavirus outbreak in China.
In recent exercises for the prevention and control of coronavirus epidemic organized by the local authorities of Hezhou city in Guangxi province, EHang 216, the two-seat passenger-grade AAV successfully transported medical supplies from Hezhou Square to the Hezhou People’s Hospital, which is 4 kilometers apart, by accurately landing on a 25-story rooftop of the hospital.
The EHang 216 AAV autonomously returned following the delivery. The 8-kilometer round-trip flight operation was unmanned which is critical in current epidemic situation. This has opened up a new opportunity for EHang’s AAVs in immediate UAM applications such as medical emergency transport, which currently largely relies on ambulance cars or helicopters.
More importantly, designed as a passenger-grade AAV, EHang 216 can not only transport medical supplies, but also transport personnel in emergency situations. Edward Xu, EHang’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), took a 4-kilometer autonomous flight from the city center and landed safely on the rooftop of the hospital (picture below) in one of the series of urban passenger-carrying flights to test run this use case in Hezhou, including the flights at nights, with the range covering the whole city (over 15 kilometers) and at a cruising speed as high as 90 kilometers per hour.
“Personally, I’m proud to be one of the passengers to take the initial autonomous flights for medical emergency transport, and enjoyed the safe, fast and smooth journey. In urban emergency situation, this enables people or goods to be transported efficiently across the city in nearly straight-line routes. More importantly, as a passenger, I was free to enjoy my tea and urban scenery during the whole flight as everything was automatically piloted,” said Edward. “Such successful flights have demonstrated EHang’s capabilities in delivering safe and high quality AAVs to meet mission-critical demands in real life. We will continue to implement more UAM applications.”
Why it’s important: From surveillance to medical supply deliveries, China has deployed many cutting edge technologies in support of the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. EHang has proven the ability of its 216 eVTOL to support in these critical circumstances, and is not the first demonstration of aerial mobility technology being used in real-world medical support applications. An increase in the variety of successful executions of urban air mobility technology continues to advance the mobility industry and expand what many have thought possible for the utility of these vehicles.