EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) (“EHang” or the “Company”) has announced that the EHang 216, the company’s flagship model, has been tested successfully in Japan. The successful unmanned and autonomous trial served to “showcase safe, autonomous, eco-friendly urban air mobility (“UAM”) solutions,” says an EHang press release. The test was the first passenger-grade advanced aviation vehicle (AAV) given permission from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (“MLIT”) for outdoor open airspace trial flights in Japan.
Mr. Sugihara Yohei, secreetary to Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Kato Katsunobu, attended the trial and delivered a speech on his behalf that promised further support for urban air mobility in Japan: “At present, many companies around the world have launched such flying car projects, and are conducting research and development and demonstration projects. As the government, we will actively improve aviation regulations while supporting private enterprises in a timely and appropriate manner. ”
Mr. Hashimoto Gaku, member of the Japan House of Representatives, said: “I am very pleased that Japan’s first trial flight of a flying car took place in the land of Okayama. We have high expectations for flying cars as a new generation for the growth industries. We look forward to developing flying cars as social services through public-private cooperation.”
Japan is moving quickly towards implementing passenger drones. “In 2018, the Japanese government established the “Public-Private Council for Air Transportation Revolution” and formulated a Roadmap towards Air Transportation Revolution,” says the EHang press release. According to the Roadmap, MLIT’s Civial Aviation Bureau is working on regulations and processes, with a goal of begininng commercial transportation of goods and people in passenger drones by 2023.
Last month, Japan’s government established the Next Generation Aviation Mobility planning office to focus on the needs of industry, regulators, and local governments.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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