In the midst of the technological advancements of the 2010s, many of us were eagerly waiting for the futuristic flying cars that were depicted in movies like “Back to the Future II,” “The Jetsons,” and “Blade Runner.” However, despite the passing of that distant future, we seem to have fallen short of that dream. But now, it appears that the future might finally be within reach.
EHang, a Chinese company, has developed an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) called the EH216 that aims to make flying through urban environments a reality. In a partnership with Air X in Japan, the company is now ready to start marketing this innovative creation.
While it may be tempting to grab a joystick and navigate your way through the sky, EHang has taken the concept a step further by making the process truly autonomous, ensuring customer comfort, ease, and safety. The two-seater flying car, the EH216, comes with pre-programmed flight routes to maximize efficiency and minimize the chances of any mishaps.
You simply need to choose your destination on a touchscreen, fasten your seatbelt, and you’re ready to go. Now, you might be wondering how this is possible when autonomous driving for regular cars is not yet fully developed. EHang, however, has examined the statistics and found that the majority of airplane accidents are caused by human error. By eliminating this factor, they believe that safer results can be achieved.
Moreover, EHang has a ground control team that monitors the AAVs to ensure safety. The physical components and software are designed with redundancy in mind, allowing the EH216 to safely fly and land even in case of malfunctions.
Additionally, the EH216 is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, meaning it is fully electric and can take off and land vertically without the need for a runway. With extensive testing conducted worldwide, including in the United States, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, EHang envisions the EH216 being used for transportation, sightseeing, and even for transporting people to hospitals during medical emergencies.
The future that was once a vision from the past is now becoming a reality. With EHang’s EH216, the dream of flying cars may finally be within reach.