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A Chinese company has recently successfully demonstrated its autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) carrying a human passenger. The EHang 216, EHang’s passenger grade AAV, has already been demonstrated at trade shows and conventions all over the world, proving that pilotless flying taxis are a thing of the near future.
The company has unveiled the world’s first passenger grade AAV back in 2016 with the single seater EHang 184.
With the ability to carry up to two passengers, the EHang 216 can carry up to 220 kilograms and can reach speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. Its 16 propellers are completely battery powered and the flying vehicle is completely autonomous. Passengers need no experience in flying when operating the EHang 216. All they need to do is choose their destination on a mobile app and the aircraft will fly them there autonomously. However if necessary, it is possible for a ground operator to operate the AAVs controls.
Pilotless flying taxis seem to be the industry of tomorrow, with uasvision.com reporting that the industry is expected to reach a $1.5 trillion value by the year 2040. Investment firms are estimating that by the year 2035 there could be over 23,000 flying taxis in over 240 different cities.