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Ehang conducts 1st trial flight of its aerial car model

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-01-09 10:25
Roy Cooper, governor of North Carolina, poses for a photo with Ehang 216, on Tuesday, local time. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Ehang, a world's leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, conducted its first-ever trial flight of its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, in the United States on Tuesday, local time.

The flight was conducted as part of the North Carolina Transportation Summit hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Jan 8-9.

The nonpassenger flight represented the first time that the EHang 216 had received flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to sources with the Nasdaq-listed company.

"EHang is working with the FAA to secure approval for a passenger trial flight of the EHang 216 in the near future," said Hu Huazhi, founder and chairman of Ehang.

EHang has safely conducted over 2,000 trial flights in the United States, China, Austria, the Netherlands, Qatar and the UAE to ensure that its AAVs operate safely and reliably in different areas globally.

"Our mission is to make safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone and this trial flight represents a significant step toward bringing our urban air mobility solutions to the US market," said Hu.

According to Hu, pilotless air taxis have the power to transform daily life in urban areas since they can lessen pollution, expedite emergency services, and save individuals and businesses time and money through shorter travel times.

EHang, which became a publicly listed company on Dec 12 on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol "EH", is the first urban air mobility company to realize commercialization for its passenger-grade AAVs, having already delivered 38 units to customers as of the end of 2019.

Prior to this debut flight in the US, two EHang 216 AAVs completed simultaneous trial flights of their commercial sightseeing applications in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, on Nov 30.

These trial flights are part of EHang's joint initiative with the government of Guangzhou to develop Guangzhou to be EHang's first urban air mobility pilot city. These trial flights will enable EHang to test flight routes and vertiports to implement the initiative.

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