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LOS ANGELES (Xinhua) – The world’s first drone capable of autonomously carrying a person may test-fly in Nevada later this year, the United States, Chinese aerial technology company EHang Holdings Limited told Xinhua on Sunday.
The Chinese company based in China’s southern province of Guangdong and the state of Nevada are trying to make this happen by moving forward with testing the EHang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, the first drone to offer autonomous human flight over short-to-medium distances.
The electrically powered Ehang 184, released at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January, can carry a single passenger weighing up to 100 kg for a 23-minute flight at sea level at a speed of 100 km per hour, the company said.
Passengers using the “Ehang-184” enter a destination into the drone’s linked smartphone app. There’s no need for a runway because the drone takes off and lands vertically.
And EHang won’t just be flying in the empty desert. Last month, EHang announced a collaboration with US company Lung Biotechnology to develop and purchase up to 1,000 units of an modified version of EHang 184 to optimize it for organ delivery. The companies have agreed to work together over the next 15 years under a program.