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Flying Taxi Company Starts Vehicle Deliveries; Pilotless Travel

The electric aerial vehicle from EHang received a standard airworthiness certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China

Chuck Martin

December 22, 2023

3 Min Read
EHang Holdings EH216-S passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle system flies in the air.
EHang Holdings

A Chinese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has received approval for its pilotless aerial vehicle and made its first delivery.

The EH216 electric aerial vehicle (EAV) from EHang Holdings received a standard airworthiness certificate (AC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

This is the first of its kind globally for an EAV.

The production procedures were supervised by the CACC to validate that the vehicle adhered to the type certificate (TC) EHang received in October.

The now certified EH216-S was delivered to ETON, an aviation technology subsidiary of Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group, which is managed by the government of Huangpu District in Guangzhou.

“We are thrilled to receive the world’s first certified passenger-carrying UAV from EHang and are proud of our Guangzhou local enterprise for this groundbreaking achievement,” said Chengjiu Zhou, general manager of Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group.  “We are very optimistic about our upcoming commercial operations of aerial tourism in Guangzhou and the bright future of our business cooperation with EHang.”

The plan is to use the EAV for aerial tourism in Guangzhou.

EHang recently extended its operations to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) including the sale of up to 100 of its flying vehicles.

Related:Flying Taxi Company Expands Into UAE; 100-Vehicle Sale

EHang joined the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries 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 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. 

As part of this new agreement, Ehang plans to work with Wings Logistics to obtain local certification of its EAV in the UAE.

Wings Logistics Hub intends to buy up to 100 of the EH216 flying vehicles from EHang with the first deliveries starting in early 2024.

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, aims to enable the vertical takeoff and landings of EAVs.

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.

Related:Flying Taxi Company Opens Vertiport in Spain; Pilotless Air Travel

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.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

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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