Chinese drone maker EHang delivered the first batch of “passenger grade” EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) in June, followed by a second batch in October. The company says these aircraft have now reached customers in Asia, Europe and North America.
EHang founder, chairman and CEO Hu Huazhi stated:
This delivery of AAVs marks a major step forward in EHang’s efforts to offer a full-stack solution for the emerging urban air mobility market on a global scale. We will continue to work closely with our customers, business partners, and regulators on various issues including infrastructure rollout, flight permit, trial operations, and technical support to enable a new era of urban air mobility.
EHang said it has already conducted over 2,000 flight tests around the world, and is working with regulatory authorities including EASA, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Civil Aviation Administration of China, and others “to ensure that global regulatory standards are able to efficiently meet the demands of future urban air mobility.”
Meanwhile, the company announced on Oct. 18 that it had struck a strategic partnership with telecommunications giant Vodofone. As an exclusive partner for EHang, Vodofone will equip all EHang AAVs operating in Europe with Vodafone SIM cards and connectivity.
UPDATE: On Oct. 31, 2019, EHang filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell an estimated $100M in depository shares in an initial public offering. This filing provided extensive information on its aircraft that had not been previously disclosed. For instance, in addition to its 2-seat production model, the EHang 216, the IPO provided information on a single-seat production model, the EHang 116. (The initial test aircraft — with 1 passenger, 8 propellers and 4 arms — was called the EHang 184.)