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Would you ride in this drone made for human transport?

by Brandon Russell | January 7, 2016January 7, 2016 8:45 am PST

The world has barely warmed up to toy drones, so I can’t imagine how people will react to an unmanned aerial vehicle for humans. Announced by Chinese company EHang, the company’s new Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) is a “large-scale drone” designed to autonomously fly people from Point A to, hopefully, Point B. If you’re afraid of flying, EHang’s 184 (as it’s being called) is your worst nightmare.

What’s frightening is that EHang is deadly serious about the 184, which the company describes as the “safest” and “smartest” low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle on the market. If you frequently travel short distances, this thing is designed to eliminate the pains of traffic and transport you through the air and to your destination, whether it be a doctor’s appointment or to your daughter’s graduation. Just hop into the single passenger vehicle and go up, up and away from civilization forever.

Sounds familiar, right?

the-jetsons-car_100322637_m

OK, maybe it’s not quite like the car in The Jetsons, but you can check out the wild video above to see some of the scenarios EHang envisions for the 184. Flying over snowy mountain ranges, lakes, open plains and even busy cities. All that’s required from a human passenger is to set a destination, and the oddly-named 184 does the rest.

“Passengers need only sit back and let the software and machine do the work, no piloting or license necessary… flight has never been so easy,” EHang said of the 184.

No license necessary? So I could seemingly input a destination and send my kid off and out of my life? That truly is the “smartest” thing I’ve ever heard. Aside from transporting your lazy butt from one point to another, EHang also envisions the 184 being used for shipping, medical transport, and more. Don’t worry, I just sent grandma to the hospital in the 184 drone!

The craft consists of eight propellers and four arms, and is built with reinforcements in place should a component fail. EHang also says that if you’re in the air and you’re attacked by a bird, the 184 will take appropriate action. What about if someone hacks the 184… let me stop you right there. EHang claims that the oversized drone is built with encryption, which means you won’t have to worry about someone nefariously sending you careening into a building.

For an aerial transportation vehicle, the 184 is fairly small, weighing in at just 440 pounds, with a rated load capacity of 220 pounds. Sorry Shaquille O’Neill, but the EHang 184 death machine isn’t powerful enough to carry you any sort of distance. 

“[184] promises limitless possibilities and will undoubtedly impact the way we all travel in profound ways,” EHang said.

Watch the video above and stare in amazement at what could be your future.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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