EHang announced last week that it has partnered with Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group Co., LTD, GDDCI, to jointly launch the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center at the Innovation Park in Huangpu District, Guangzhou, China. The Experience Center is designed and developed as a location with all the necessary infrastructures for EHang AAVs under the 100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative. EHang has selected Guangzhou as the pilot city for investing in urban air mobility (“UAM”) infrastructure construction in the urban area to enable citizens to enjoy air mobility experience in the near future. Several operational flight routes have been planned and tested for passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, aerial logistics, etc. in Guangzhou.
The 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center spans 2,000 square meters and is equipped with a rooftop take-off and landing vertiport as well as a hangar for power charging and maintenance. Powered by 5G telecommunication networks, the center relies on the EHang’s command-and-control system platform to enable trial operations for the EH216, Falcon B and other eVTOL models, for various UAM and smart city management applications. Furthermore, the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center is integrated with an Automatic Guided Vehicle Parking Garage, which provides a convenient infrastructure for a seamless transfer experience in car travel and aerial trip in the future.
EHang and GDDCI have founded this joint venture for establishing the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center as well as local UAM route planning and AAV operations. With the UAM mapping across four central areas in Guangzhou’s Huangpu district, several operational flight routes have been planned and tested for passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, aerial logistics, smart city management, etc.
Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang, said, “Guangzhou is EHang’s first global urban air mobility pilot city and the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center has become the latest operation spot under the 100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative. We will use the world’s leading AAV technologies and command-and-control system to provide intelligent, comprehensive solutions for urban air mobility and smart city management in Guangzhou. We expect to build Guangzhou into a model city for UAM and have plans to extend it to more cities across the country and worldwide.”
Watch a video of the experience center: https://youtu.be/TSECvprStkk
Why it’s important: This new experience center will allow the public to gain a better understanding of typical aerial mobility operations, and also will serve as a proving grounds for deconfliction among 5G band telecommunications infrastructure and flight control software components. In parallel, the commercial air travel industry globally is tangling with deployment of 5G cell towers in the vicinity of airports, as the frequency band of 5G operation abuts that of radio altimeters used in aircraft for automatic flight path guidance and landing parameter inputs. While not all eVTOLs make use of radio altimeters, a proven deconfliction of 5G telecommunication systems and aerial mobility aircraft flight path controllers is crucial to future success of eVTOL operations, as many target routes have a node, either departure or arrival, at a medium to large sized airport, at least for initial operations.