The Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturer, EHang, is one of the many companies progressing the urban air mobility industry as the idea of autonomous air taxis approaches reality. However, “innovation requires acceptance”. That is why EHang has joined a strategic partnership with FACC, the Austrian aviation company, and ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4.
ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 is a company with a mission to promote the mobility systems of the future. Through a media platform, they have cultivated an ecosystem to address the “future of mobility issues” and have organized a festival around this same idea. “The 4GAMECHANGERS Festival 2019 represents the starting gun for a broad media treatment in information, discussion, and docutainment formats on several broadcasters and on partner media.” At the Festival from April 9-11, attendees will have the chance to take a ride in EHang’s autonomous air vehicle for the first time.
ProSiebanSat, FACC, and EHANG plan to take their autonomous air vehicle (AAV) to series production in Austria. Within the partnership, EHang is the “inventor and expert for all questions having to do with autonomous flying, especially with respect to connectivity and software solutions”, according to a recent press release. The triad’s goal is to advance and accelerate the future of air urban air mobility, and they “view the project as a chance for Austria and Europe as a whole to position themselves as pioneers”. By expediting the creation of a test area and coordinating with politicians and aviation authorities, the group hopes to tackle the challenge of regulation.
While the regulatory hurdles are high, ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 has created www.urban-air-mobility.io as a platform to increase the accessibility and public exposure of these challenges, as well as the progress that is being made to address them. Also, EHang CEO Mr. Huazhi HU states that “given stable 5G infrastructures, autonomous flying will soon be reality, offering customers a new dimension of convenience.” Interestingly, it is likely that autonomous flying vehicles will be in service even before commercialized autonomous cars due to the simplicity of aerial transit route design.
Why it’s important: EHang, FACC, and ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 have detailed a plan to produce their AAV in Austria, while also encouraging other urban air mobility companies by providing a path for regulation and public acceptance. Additionally, the GAMECHANGERS Festival will provide the first public opportunity to ride in an autonomous air vehicle slated for commercialization. These milestones mark great advancement in the urban aviation industry as a whole.