The demonstration flight by the five-seater Prosperity EAV was uncrewed and flew autonomously

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

February 27, 2024

2 Min Read
AutoFlight conducted its first inter-city electric taxi trip in China.

An eVTOL (electric takeoff and landing) startup conducted the first inter-city electric taxi trip in China.

An AutoFlight electric aerial vehicle (EAV) flew between the southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

The demonstration flight by the five-seater Prosperity EAV was uncrewed and flew fully autonomously.

The flight across the Pearl River Delta cut a typical three-hour car drive to a 20-minute flight.

This is believed to be the world’s first public flight of an EAV on a cross-sea and inter-city route.

“We are thrilled to showcase AutoFlight’s cutting-edge capabilities today in the world’s first cross-sea and inter-city eVTOL demonstration flight,” said Tian Yu, founder, CEO and co-chairman of AutoFlight. “Working closely together with the local authorities and partners here, and in other jurisdictions around the world, we will continue to drive this revolution to bring safe, efficient, sustainable and affordable eVTOL flight options to cities around the world.”

The EAV strategy in the region calls for the opening of thousands of vertiports and hundreds of eVTOL travel routes across the Greater Bay Area in southern China with passenger-carrying flights expected in two years.

AutoFlight has partnered with Heli-Eastern, a general aviation carrier and helicopter service provider, which has agreed to purchase 100 Prosperity passenger eVTOL vehicles.

Related:Air Taxi Company Launches Flying Firefighting Vehicle

AutoFlight also has created a fully functional prototype of a flying vehicle aimed at firefighting and able to carry up to 800 pounds with a range of 124 miles.

The self-flying EAV is designed to transport four high-performance fire-extinguishing canisters weighing 22 pounds each with the capacity to extinguish fires covering up to 235 square yards individually. 

An earlier version of the Prosperity last year was tested by taking off vertically and flying in formation. Those vehicles have flown at different heights and for different durations with test flights ranging up to 75 miles at a time and up to 42 minutes per flight.

AutoFlight recently demonstrated the formation of three self-flying EAVs in Shanghai.

The company has dual headquarters in Shanghai, China, and Augsburg, Germany.

The seven-year-old startup is backed by the European technology holding company Team Global, which also has investments in other EAV companies Archer Aviation and Volocopter.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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