EHang has reached another milestone in development of its EH216 eVTOL announcing this week they have completed a fully autonomous flight with passengers on board.
The flight was conducted along Tanoura Beach in Oita, Japan under the approval of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan. Onboard were two passengers and no pilot as the EH216 completed a short, autonomous flight profile.
Sato Kiichiro, Mayor of Oita, Oita Prefecture, Japan, attended the event and delivered a speech saying, “Last July, EH216 completed its Japan’s first point-to-point trial flight in Oita, receiving overwhelming responses. Today, EH216 takes on the challenge of passenger-carrying flight here, and I am very pleased to witness this moment. I hope that today’s passenger-carrying flight test will accelerate autonomous aerial vehicles to take a further step toward practical use cases, so that this industry full of opportunities could be in full swing.”
Xin Fang, Chief Operating Officer of EHang, stated, “Over the past two years, EH216 has achieved one milestone after another in Japan with several rounds of demo and trial flights. This year brought passengers the possibility of riding in the air with this cutting-edge product and technology. All these milestones are inextricably linked to the support and trust of MLIT of Japan, local government departments, and our partners. EHang has also demonstrated the reliability of our AAV products. We will continue working with our partners to promote safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly UAM solutions in Japan so as to benefit more people worldwide with our passenger-grade AAVs.”
Why it matters: EHang has a strong relationship with Japan’s aviation regulatory agency and other industry groups in the area. Last year, the company completed several demonstration flights in the region and the continues to parter with stakeholders in Japan on highlighting the business case and opportunities for the Japanese UAM industry.