Two-person electric drones may be the future of air taxis. Such is the vision that Chinese aviation startup EHang has.
The company just received its operational flight permit from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Society for its EHang 216 in Norway and has entered into a cooperation agreement with the government of the city of Seville in Spain to proceed with its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pilot program.
The hope for the company is that they develop their presence in Europe and create future flight routes.
What is Urban Air Mobility?
Working with the government of Seville the plan is for them and EHang to develop Urban Air Mobility (UAM), which includes passenger transportation, air logistics, and command and control platforms for the city in Spain.
According to the EHang, this is the first operational flight permit with the EHang 216 model issued by the civil aviation authority in Europe. The trial will take place in northern Norway, near the border with Russia, at Elvenes Airport. It's an ideal location for test flights as the region is thinly populated with unused airspace.
Furthermore, Norway is the ideal place to begin tests as the country is very active with the future of our airspace and promotes clean aviation.
The plan is for EHang to test and explore how its Autonomous Aviation Vehicle (AAV) system can offer safe, autonomous flights. This project will gather real-time data thanks to its control and command platforms. The tests will also include point-to-point delivery, maintenance, as well as inspection of wind-power plant servicing.
Hu Huazhi, founder, CEO, and chairman of EHang stated "In the new wave of the development of the oil industry in Norway, EHang expects to empower the O&G industry with our AAV technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and promote the use of green energy."
He continued "In the past two years, we have established strategic partnerships with valuable European partners such as Vodafone, FACC, and the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. We expect to work with more strategic partners and help them with our safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility solutions."
EHang became publicly listed on the Nasdaq in 2019, and since then it's been promoting its eVTOL system worldwide. It recently received its first special flight authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and conducted its first-ever trial flight of the EHang 216 in the U.S.
Seville, Spain, has entered into an agreement with EHang to be the first city in Spain to have a UAM pilot program. Both the city and aviation startups will work on test flights together, in accordance with Spanish and European legislation.
EHang's drones could be the future of urban mobility, keeping cities innovative, sustainable, and intelligent.