With CES up and running, visitors have been treated to quite an offering by tech companies but perhaps no company has surprised as much as Chinese drone-maker Ehang which unveiled its 184 drone prototype designed for a single passenger.
It will be some time before you’re taking this drone to work..or not?
There is little question that it will be quite some time before the FAA will allow you to program your destination, push a button, and simply arrive at your destination. While Ehang hasn’t put a price on the 184, I want one very much. I live in Guatemala and I’m not certain the country has the desire nor the ability to stop me from using it to get to the golf course. While I’m not a huge fan of flying, I would love to finish writing this piece, go out to my garden, and fly over the cobblestone streets of this colonial town while avoiding traffic and taking a considerably more direct route than roads allow.
The 184 is designed for a single passenger and as four arms equipped with two propellers each. Production has yet to begin but Ehang promises that once the drone is available it will take-off and land vertically and potentially reach speeds up to 62 miles per hour depending on the weight of the passenger.
The 184 can travel a bit over two miles with a flying time of up to 23 minutes. And, if like me, you’re simply trying to get in a quick 18 holes, it will fully recharge before I’m finished for the trip home.
While it won’t land in a typical parking space at 18 feet in length, you can fold it up to take up a single space. While light at 440 pounds, it’s hardly something you can comfortably move around on your own. All that said, I still want one.
The 184 is fully automated and has multiple battery packs for safety reasons. The drone’s software is designed to land the craft immediately if it senses trouble and is essentially equipped with the equivalent of On-star when you begin to freak out on your first flight.
The fully autonomous nature of the 184 eliminates what is ,according to the company, “the most dangerous part of standard modes of transportation, human error.”