A demonstration of the EH216 AAV took place at the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center. The aircraft has a range of 35 km. (Photo: EHang)
Last week, EHang, developer and manufacturer of autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs), announced the launch of the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center in partnership with Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group. The 21,500-square-foot center is located at the Innovation Park in Guangzhou, China—EHang’s first urban air mobility pilot city—and has a take-off and landing vertiport.
Founder and CEO of EHang, Huazhi Hu, stated in the press release, “We will use the world’s leading AAV technologies and command-and-control system to provide intelligent, comprehensive solutions for urban air mobility and smart city management in Guangzhou. We expect to build Guangzhou into a model city for UAM and have plans to extend it to more cities across the country and worldwide.”
EHang posted the flight demonstrated video featured below to its YouTube page upon announcing the launch of their new Experience Center.
The Experience Center will enable trial operations in Guangzhou of eVTOLs such as the EHang 216 and Falcon B in a variety of applications related to urban air mobility. An automatic parking garage, for example, will one day enable a seamless transfer from car to eVTOL and vice versa, according to EHang.
EHang's unveiling of the new Experience Center comes following the reporting of its Q3 unaudited financial results last month, sharing total revenues of $2M USD—a 6.6% increase from Q2. According to the company’s announcement, they are undergoing a strategic transition from a model that is centered on product sales towards an operation platform-oriented model. While EHang sold and delivered three AAVs in Q2, that number grew to eight units for the third quarter.
EHang reached 20,000 autonomous trial flights on record in November 2021 and continues to work towards full certification for its EH 216 aircraft. As part of the “100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative,” there have been roughly 2,800 operational trial flights of the EH 216.
Another strategic partnership with EHang was announced in October 2021. Shenzhen Expressway, also a partner of the 100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative, will "join efforts with EHang to explore the innovative integration of AAV air mobility and expressway networks in smart city transportation," according to the company's website. The partnership will also analyze use cases such as road inspection, emergency rescue, and transportation of materials.
During the EU’s Gulf of Finland (GOF) 2.0 project in 2021, EHang demonstrated its AAV in a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight test and showcased the automated cargo delivery capabilities of its drone, the Falcon. This was the first instance of a passenger-grade AAV completing BVLOS trial flights in Estonia.
The Air Mobility center is powered by 5G networks and it relies on EHang’s command-and-control system platform. (Photo: EHang)
The latest update from EHang about the launch of the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center also described an automatic guided vehicle parking garage that is integrated into the center. UAM routes in Guangzhou have already been mapped out and tested for smart city management services, aerial logistics, and passenger transportation.