Passengers are required to use the tablet or rely on the flight control center, but what would result if connectivity was lost?
"It's been a lifetime goal of mine to make flight faster, easier and more convenient than ever", said Ehang CEO Hauzi Hu. But in the event of an emergency, Ehang plan on monitoring all flights with a remote control center that is capable of intervening if the need arises. And though it's initially aimed at commuters and adventuresome people, "EHang will make a global impact across dozens of industries beyond personal travel", he said.
The vehicle's name is a reference to "one passenger, eight propellers, four arms".
Pilotless planes have been developed and examined earlier than, however Ehang says their vehicle is the world's first commercially out there self-flying plane. The 184 would be impossible to fly legally in the United Kingdom under current regulations, and would need years of testing to get anywhere near a public rollout.
No word yet as to when the eHang 184 will go on sale or how much it'll cost, but that's not a huge deal.
The 184's communication system was also designed with a safety guarantee: every system is encrypted, and each AAV comes with an independent key. So multiple backups are already in place to seamlessly take over in case of failure.
The system ensures if any components malfunction, or there is damage there is no serious threat. The Ehang 184 represents an ambitious extension of its activities beyond these smaller, traditional drones.
Should the passenger for some reason feel unease about their flight and want to abort, they could click a button that would stop the flight path and put the 184 in a hovering state. This means, in total, the Ehang 184 has eight different motors that combined produce over 106kW. The passenger would enter the departure and arrival locations in Google Maps, press their finger on the screen, and the 184 would take off vertically and head toward its eventual landing spot. As a bonus the EHang 184 is completely electric, thus not harmful to the environment at all. Be warned, though: The 184 can only carry passengers who weigh less than 220 pounds (about 100 kilos)-any more and your trip will be even shorter than expected. A single passenger can be transported for a maximum of 23 minutes at a speed of 60mph on a single charge.