Flying Taxi Startup Cleared for Mass Production; Pilotless Travel

EHang Holdings received the Production Certificate for its electric aerial vehicle from the Civil Aviation Administration

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

April 8, 2024

4 Min Read
EHang's EH216-S pilotless passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft
EHang Holdings

A Chinese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has received governmental approval to mass produce its passenger-carrying pilotless vehicles.

EHang Holdings received the Production Certificate (PC) for its EHE16-S electric aerial vehicle (EAV) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The EAV previously received a standard airworthiness certificate (AC) from the CACC, the first of its kind globally for an EAV.

The latest approval certificate validates that EHang has a mass production quality management system that meets the CAAC's airworthiness regulatory requirements.

The company now is authorized for mass production.

The system to make the EH216-S includes raw materials, supplier management, production organization, production quality control, pre-delivery test, after-sales repair and maintenance. The new approval includes guidelines for all steps in the production procedure.

“The issuance of the PC is pivotal for the EH216-S as it opens the door to mass production, and a crucial step for our advancement towards commercial operations,” said Huazhi Hu, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang. “As of today, the EH216-S has secured the TC, PC and standard AC from the CAAC. All the notable accomplishments relied on the collaboration and tireless efforts of the CAAC’s expert team and EHang’s team, and reflected our collective innovation, wisdom and expertise in aircraft design, manufacturing, quality management and other fields.” 

Related:Flying Taxi Takes Demo Flight in Costa Rica; Pilotless

EHang recently conducted a demonstration flight of its pilotless flying vehicle in Latin America, flying the EAV at the Reserva Conchal Resort in Costa Rica.

The flight was held in front of national authorities and media to help promote advanced air mobility (AAM) in the region.

The flight demonstration, intended to highlight the EAV suitability for aerial tourism, was organized by Bluenest by Globalvia, a vertiport networks manager, and a subsidiary of a private airport operator.

EHang recently flew a group of 12 EAVs together in China.

In a video, the 12 flying vehicles took off together from an airfield in Hefei, China, on what appeared to be a snowy day.

The video showed the vehicles all lifting straight up at the same time, flying in different groups, flying over the airfield and then all landing in a row at the same time.

The $410,000 EHang vehicle is approved for flying passengers.

The long-range goal of the flying vehicles industry is to have EAVs evolve from piloted vehicles, such as the coming air taxis, to aerial vehicles that fly automatically, with no crew onboard. 

Related:Air Taxis Fly in Packs in China; No Pilots

While some EAV makers such as Wisk in the U.S. are planning to start this way in the future, it is not in the most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) electric aerial vehicle planning documents.

EHang has been active in marketing its pilotless vehicles globally.

The company recently delivered an EAV to Eton, an aviation technology subsidiary of Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group, which is managed by the government of Huangpu District in Guangzhou.

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

EHang also extended its operations to the United Arab Emirates including the sale of up to 100 of its EAVs.

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 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, EHhang plans to work with Wings Logistics to obtain local certification of its EAV in the UAE.

Read more about:

AsiaFlying Cars

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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