Chinese drone maker unveils human-carrying drone

On Wednesday, Ehang Inc., a Chinese drone manufacturer, presented what it claims to be the first drone in history that can carry a human passenger.

At the CES technology expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Guangzhou, China-based business took the fabric off the Ehang 184. It resembles a little helicopter in a business video that shows it in flight, but instead of four propellers that are doubled and spinning parallel to the ground like other drones, it has four.

According to Ehang, the electric-powered drone can fly for 23 minutes at sea level, carry up to 220 pounds, and be completely charged in two hours. The cabin features air conditioning and a reading light, and it can accommodate one passenger and a small rucksack. The propellers may be folded up to let it fit in a single parking space.

Passengers simply need to click on a Microsoft Surface tablet to deliver the two orders, "take off" and "land," after putting up a flight plan, according to the business.

With a maximum height of 11,500 feet and a top speed of 63 miles per hour, it is intended to fly between 1,000 and 1,650 feet above the earth.

Drone regulations in the United States are only now beginning to be established, and a drone carrying passengers is almost certainly going to be closely inspected.

Administrator Michael Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration was present at CES, but a spokesperson was unable to immediately provide comment.

Shang Hsiao, chief financial officer and co-founder of Ehang, stated that the business intends to sell the gadget for $200,000 to $300,000 starting this year, but he recognized that it falls into a legal "grey area."

"This has never existed anywhere in the world before," he declared.

According to him, a passenger wouldn't have any backup controls. According to him, if there is an issue, the business has a remote control center set up to take charge of the car and make sure it lands securely.

The vehicle has been flown more than 100 times at low altitudes in a Guangzhou forest, including many times with a human inside, according to Chief Marketing Officer Derrick Xiong.

According to Xiong, one reason why quadcopters are safer than helicopters is because of their many propellers. He added that even with three of the four arms' six propellers malfunctioning, the last arm's operational propellers can guarantee a hard landing by spiraling down into the earth.

After raising $10 million in funding the year before, the business, which also produces smaller drones, said in August that it had received $42 million from a variety of investors, including GP Capital, GGV Capital, ZhenFund, and others.