Buckle up, because an autonomous car-sized drone from the Chinese company Ehang is cleared to begin testing in Nevada.
The electric Ehang 184 passenger drone first debuted earlier this year at CES and has the capacity to stay aloft for more than 20 minutes.
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The Ehang 184 is designed to carry a 220-pound load, fly under 650 feet in the air, and cruise for 23 minutes at an average speed of 62 mph, according to the specs. Electric charging takes two to four hours. The eight-rotor drone also uses an app for takeoff and landing. I picture it being sort of like a pedicab that gets airborne.
Recently the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems announced an agreement with EHang to collaborate on flight testing, training, and development at the state's FAA unmanned aircraft systems test site. The goal is for Ehang's drone to ultimately get regulatory approval. The people involved called the agreement "historic," but "futuristic" sounds more accurate to me.
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