Chinese drone manufacturer EHang, Inc. announced today that they have signed an agreement with The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) to begin testing the EHang 184, a passenger drone. Testing will take place at Nevada’s FAA UAS Test Site.
EHang first announced the passenger drone at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show where co-founder George Yan introduced the product as “the first vehicle ever to offer autonomous human flight over short-to-medium distances,” receiving widespread media coverage about the potential for “drone taxis.”
The EHang 184 adds to the companies portfolio, which currently includes the Ghostdrone products and the EHang Play app. Led by a group of business veterans from 21Vianet, Microsoft, Lenovo and Foxconn, EHang raised over $50 million in 2015.
“The State of Nevada, through NIAS, will help guide EHang through the FAA regulatory process with the ultimate goal of achieving safe flight,” said Tom Wilczek, GOED’s Aerospace and Defense Industry Specialist in a company statement. “EHang’s selection of Nevada to test its people-carrying drone marks a thrilling addition to the innovative companies testing throughout our state to advance the commercial drone industry. I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada’s transportation system.”
NIAS is a non-profit organization founded and sponsored by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and is the Nevada FAA UAS designated test site. “Partnering with GOED and NIAS is a big step for EHang 184 to move forward to government regulatory approval of the unprecedented innovation in US and globally, which will lay the foundation for its commercialization and building up the aerial transportation ecosystem in the future”, said Huazhi Hu, Founder and CEO of EHang.
Testing of the EHang 184 will begin at the Nevada FAA UAS Test Site this year.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.