While flying photography drones can be a fun way to spend the afternoon, using taxi drones to see the sights is on another level. The EHang 216 soared to the skies recently, with passengers loving every second of their trip above the clouds.
EHang 216 and the Drone Race
In China, the drone and transport company EHang for years have worked on a full-sized taxi drone. This taxi drone can drive through the air autonomously, while being able to carry up to two passengers. Over the years, plenty of companies have thrown their hat in the race for the world’s first taxi drone. Plenty of big name brands such as Airbus and Boeing started their own designs with varying amounts of success.
This month, EHang pushed further into their trial phase with actual passengers trying out the transport. A select number of people enjoyed the scenic sights of Yantai, China from above, with the help of the EHang taxi drone. The EHang 216 is an unmanned, programmed taxi drone built to carry people to the skies. The trial runs involved carrying people over the city, testing turbulence, comfort of passengers, and speed of transport.
Limitations and Possibilities
Of course, the EHang 216 is far from the perfect transport. Tests are still required to improve speed, distance, as well as better fuel consumption. However, these initial tests are looking amazing for the future of drone travel.
It may still take years for a taxi drone to receive the green light for mass production. Even then, integrating it with standard transports, delegating road rules, as well as making them available in more areas is still a far reach. Right now, people will have to travel by land to reach their destinations. But who knows? Technology moves at a rapid pace. Perhaps in a year or two, you too can ride around in a flying drone near you.