Aircraft

Ehang 184 drone could carry you away one day

Ehang 184 drone could carry yo...
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
View 19 Images
The Ehang 184 AAV should be commercially available later this year(!), priced somewhere between US$200,000 to $300,000
1/19
The Ehang 184 AAV should be commercially available later this year(!), priced somewhere between US$200,000 to $300,000
According to Ehang rep we spoke to, the Ehang 184 AAV is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon
2/19
According to Ehang rep we spoke to, the Ehang 184 AAV is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon
Charging of the Ehang 184 AAV's 14.4-kWh battery pack takes four hours in trickle mode or two hours in fast-charge, with a full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level
3/19
Charging of the Ehang 184 AAV's 14.4-kWh battery pack takes four hours in trickle mode or two hours in fast-charge, with a full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level
The Ehang 184 AAV's arms can fold up when the drone is parked on the ground, allowing it to take up less space
4/19
The Ehang 184 AAV's arms can fold up when the drone is parked on the ground, allowing it to take up less space
Ehang 184 AAV users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the "take-off" button
5/19
Ehang 184 AAV users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the "take-off" button
The Ehang 184 AAV's user interface
6/19
The Ehang 184 AAV's user interface
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV
7/19
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV
The Ehang 184 AAV's automated flight systems will manage tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation
8/19
The Ehang 184 AAV's automated flight systems will manage tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation
The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)
9/19
The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
10/19
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
A full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level
11/19
A full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
12/19
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)
13/19
The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)
According to Ehang rep we spoke to, the Ehang 184 AAV is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon
14/19
According to Ehang rep we spoke to, the Ehang 184 AAV is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon
The Ehang 184 AAV at CES
15/19
The Ehang 184 AAV at CES
The Ehang 184 AAV
16/19
The Ehang 184 AAV
The Ehang 184 AAV at CES
17/19
The Ehang 184 AAV at CES
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
18/19
The human-totin' Ehang 184 AAV at CES
The Ehang 184 AAV should be commercially available later this year
19/19
The Ehang 184 AAV should be commercially available later this year

As might be expected, there are a lot of drones on display this week at CES. Almost all of them have one thing in common, however: people can't ride in them. We say "almost all," as there is one exception. Ehang's 184 AAV (Autonomous Aerial Vehicle) is designed to carry a single human passenger, autonomously flying them from one location to another.

Ehang CEO Huazhi Hu began designing the one-seater electric drone a couple of years ago, after two of his pilot friends were killed in plane crashes. He decided that people needed a form of short-to-medium-distance personal air transport that didn't require them to have a pilot's license, and that took much of the danger out of low-altitude flight.

The idea behind the Chinese-built 184 is that users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the "take-off" button. The drone's automated flight systems will take over from there, managing tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation – it will always choose the fastest yet safest route between its present location and its destination.

Failsafe systems will reportedly take over in the event of malfunctions, plus passengers can get the drone to stop and hover in place if needed.

The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)
The Ehang 184 AAV weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m)

The current incarnation of the 184 features a carbon fiber/epoxy composite body, an aerial aluminum alloy frame, and eight motors putting out 142 hp/106 kW to eight propellers – those props are divided into four groups of two, each pair located on the top and bottom of one of four arms. Those arms can fold up when the drone is parked on the ground, allowing it to take up less space.

Charging of its 14.4-kWh battery pack takes four hours in trickle mode or two hours in fast-charge, with a full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level. The whole thing weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m).

The Ehang 184 AAV's automated flight systems will manage tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation
The Ehang 184 AAV's automated flight systems will manage tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation

And yes, it also has a trunk for storing things like a backpack or delivery items. Other features include full interior and exterior lighting, air conditioning, a 4G internet connection, and gull-wing doors.

According to the Ehang rep we spoke to, the 184 is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon. They claim that it should be commercially available later this year(!), priced somewhere between US$200,000 and $300,000.

It can be seen in actual flight (as opposed to animated flight), towards the end of the following video. And 184, incidentally, stands for "one passenger, eight propellers, four arms."

Source: Ehang

41 comments
Derek Howe
The concept vehicle seems nice, but would be much better if it could hold 2 people.
PaleDale
I like the look and concept but having those rotors so low and exposed is a bit surprising. I think the other design (Volocopter) is better.
Bill Bennett
Note to self: do not exit aircraft until propellers stop spinning.
SiryMartin
why so expensive :) ??? this is way to make own
chrislafave
This concept looks awesome! I was however trying to find mention of what'll be done about the open rotors. Seems like either enclosures or fancy sensors will be a must _before_ finding out the hard way how fast those high-speed rotors can shred a bystander.
Realistix
Fantastic, about time, the future for now. Enlargen chassis and fit existing helicopter bodies ontop using the turbine engine to drive the motors as sole power or electric or hybrid. Would love to see the bell222 fuselage ontop this! It's simple mechanically and redundant and that's perfection in aviation!!! Everyone.
Jimjam
As others have observed this needs: ~ Rotors above the cabin, so you can get out safely. ~ Better range. ~ A parachute on top for emergency landings (plus maybe an airbag system on the bottom). ~ Ducted fans for urban flying. ~ Two seats if possible. ~ A battery swapping system. Only problem is all that would add weight.
SciFi9000
As said before, no autorotate and no parachute=yikes. The only way this could be made safe is to enclose the blades in a ducted fan type scenario and include an emergency parachute. Also 23 minutes is fine for a prototype, but really, a minimum of 3 hours is a must if it's to be taken seriously.
MD
Why has nobody mentioned the simple fact: Regardless of my preference for NOT calling them DRONES, IF you can sit in it it INS"T A DRONE/UAV/RPA/UA/RC-Toy, it is a piloted multicopter (even if optionally piloted). DRONE != Multicopter, repeat that they are NOT exclusively synonymous. With the rotors, yep placing them above the cabin will enable landing in a lot more places without remodelling the hedges. (The control algorithm cane cope with the pendulum effect (better than the inverted pendulum effect)
sgdeluxedoc
Correction. To the last person, It is a drone if it has no pilot. Doesn't matter if it's carrying a person or a mule. But wow. Air taxis. Blade Runner days have arrived, I would say...