EHang has conducted its first-ever U.S. trial flight of its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, as part of the North Carolina Transportation Summit hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The flight took place on January 7th 2020.
The EHang 216 has subsequently received flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While this was a non-passenger flight, EHang is to secure approval for a passenger trial flight of the EHang 216 in the near future.
“Our mission is to make safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone and this trial flight represents a significant step towards bringing our urban air mobility solutions to the U.S. market,” said EHang founder, chairman, and CEO Huazhi Hu. “Pilotless air taxis have the power to transform everyday life in urban areas since they can lessen pollution, expedite emergency services, and save individuals and businesses time and money through shorter travel times.”
Roy Cooper, the North Carolina Governor, said, “We are proud to have the first autonomous aerial vehicle flying in North America, in North Carolina. Obviously, they are beginning this all of the world and this technology and what it means for transportation, both cargo and passengers, is pretty astronomical. This gonna be very positive for the economy. We want North Carolina to be on the cutting edge of this technology and we’re proud to have EHang here to show and demonstrate to us what can be done with this technology. It’s taking off. We North Carolina has become the pilot that can help move this kind of business forward. We are excited about that.”