Images via Ehang

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Chinese company create world’s first self-driving passenger drone

8 January 2016 | By Joe Quirke | 0 Comments

Chinese company Ehang has announced the world’s first autonomous passenger-carrying drone at the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week.

The Ehang 184 is 1.4m high and 3.9m wide and can operate without a pilot.

It can travel medium to short distances and contains eight propellers that can fold into the body of the vehicle. It is powered by solely by electricity.

Travellers can input their destination using a 12-inch tablet located inside the vessel which works out the quickest and easiest route to the destination.

Ehang said the drone was the “safest, eco-est and smartest low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle”.

The 184 flies in an inverted U shape, meaning it takes off and lands vertically. It can travel for up to 23 minutes at a time, and can reach 100km per hour and an altitude of 3,400m.

It is embedded with the Ehangen fail safe system. If any components malfunction or disconnect, the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area.

The communication is encrypted and each AAV has its independent key.

The 184 is due to be on sale later this year, with prices ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.

Images via Ehang