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Monday 29 April 2024

Pilotless flying taxis could be in operation in 2025

It sounds like science fiction but China is hoping pilotless flying taxis could be in operation by next year.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has approved the first permit for mass production of eVTOL autonomous flying taxis, leading travel news hub Travel Mole reports.

It is an industry first for manufacturer EHang, which makes the EHang EH216-S pilotless electric flying vehicle and has plans to mass-produce it commercially.

“Our vision is to introduce safe and reliable pilotless eVTOL aircraft to the global market, thereby offering safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility services,” said Huazhi Hu, CEO of EHang.

The EHang EH216-S is a fully electric two-seater craft with a cruising speed of up to 100kph. It is
built for vertical takeoffs and landings.
EHang says it has been extensively tested with and without pilots. Just like driverless cars then, except you will be flying through the air.

The company is marketing it for air taxi shuttle services, tourism and commuter transportation.

The CAAC last year issued a guidance report detailing measures for large-scale operations for autonomous aerial services starting by 2025

A similar plan in the US has targeted a start date of 2028 for eVTOL commercial operations.

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