Drones Will Fly Passengers In The Near Future.
Passenger Drones will soon be a reality. At the CES 2016, everyone was buzzing about the Chinese built automated drone The Ehang 184 that could carry a single passenger for a 23-minute flight. The Ehang has made a partnership with Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), a nonprofit sponsored by the state’s Office of Economic Development and soon will take a test flight in Nevada. These tests will begin later this year though it was not clear if the tests will involve humans flying in it. In the partnership, NIAS will help Ehang secure approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, as a result of which it will enable Ehang entry into the market faster.The key features of the drone are that it can fly for 23 minutes and at speeds of 62 miles per hour. The Passengers simply have to enter the coordinates of the desired destination; the drone used Google Maps to navigate and reaches its destination.
The Ehang 184 has sensors which can help avoid obstacles. Though the drones are fully automated in case of a mishap manual override option is not present, which raises a cause for concern as far as the safety of the passenger is concerned.
Ehang speaking with CNN in January mentioned that “the drone will have programs that automatically land the drone in case of an emergency and an on-the-ground command center staffed with humans to provide back-up.”
If further tests and approvals go on schedule and the drone hits the market it will cost around US$200,000 to US$300,000.