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December 18, 2023
A Chinese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker is extending its operations to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) including the sale of up to 100 of its flying vehicles.
EHang Holdings is joining the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) Cluster in Abu Dhabi and formed a partnership with Wings Logistics Hub, a passenger eVTOL subsidiary of Technology Holding Company.
The two companies plan to develop urban air transportation and smart city management in the UAE, Middle East and North Africa regions.
The SAVI Cluster, led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, aims to establish Abu Dhabi as a hub for smart and autonomous vehicles.
EHang’s EH216-S is believed to be the world’s first unmanned eVTOL two-passenger vehicle cleared for commercial use in China.
As part of this new agreement, Ehang plans to work with Wings Logistics to obtain local certification of its electric aerial vehicle (EAV) in the UAE.
Wings Logistics Hub intends to buy up to 100 of the EH216 series flying vehicles from EHang with the first deliveries starting in early 2024.
“We’re excited to share our involvement in the SAVI Cluster and our strategic alliance with Wings Logistics Hub and EIH (Wings Logistics Hub) as we broaden our reach in the UAE market,” said Huazhi Hu, founder, CEO and chairman of EHang. “As the first company globally to receive a type certificate for an autonomous eVTOL from China’s national civil aviation authority, we’re eager to bring our leading-edge technologies to the UAE.”
Ehang recently opened an urban air mobility (UAM) center at the Lleida–Alguaire International Airport (LEDA) in Catalonia, Spain, to manage its unmanned flying vehicles.
The UAM center includes a vertiport, which incorporates the airport terminal, platform, control tower and airport regulations, and aims to enable the vertical takeoff and landings of EAVs.
EHang has a type certificate (TC) officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), granting the company permission to fly passengers in its unmanned aerial vehicles.
The air vehicle is also being deployed at the new center in Spain.
During the EAV validation process, which included more than 40,000 test flights, the vehicle underwent laboratory, ground and flight tests at test sites across multiple locations in China, according to the company.
The tests included “structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, environmental conditions of equipment and systems, software simulation, data links, ground control stations, overall system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance and flight stability characteristics,” according to the company.
The EAV company has raised $23 million in a private placement, mostly from a well-known South Korean music producer.
EHang also has a deal with the Bao’an District Government of Shenzhen municipality for a strategic partnership in urban air mobility for commercial operations of aerial vehicles.
Five EHang flying cars have already been delivered for aerial tourism and sightseeing experiences in Shenzhen, China. The delivery marked the start of a 100-unit order from Shenzhen Boling Holding Group.
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Editorial Director AI & IoT
Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, 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 is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "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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