EHang, a Chinese electronics manufacturer, elevated drone technology to a whole new level at CES 2016 when it announced a megadrone that is so big, it can transport people. A passenger of up to 130 kg. only needs to enter a destination through a dedicated smartphone application and the machine will proceed to shuttle him or her from point A to point B (within short distances).
Called eHang 184, the megadrone is poised to be the world's first human-carrying Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV). It is outfitted with eight propellers and four arms, which can be folded when being stored or transported, according to the Daily Mail. It is powered by a battery that is charged for two to four hours, which should cover a 23-minute flight at a maximum of 62 mph, Fortune reported.
The manufacturer also developed a fail-safe system that guarantees passenger safety. It is based on several sensors that can detect danger for the passenger and trigger actions such as landing independently. The megadrone does not allow any human intervention except during emergencies when a live pilot at a command center takes over, The Next Web reported. This means that a passenger needs no certification or training to fly. Watch the megadrone's CES launch video below:
Presently, EHang is busy testing the AAV, which will be made available in China soon. The company also aims to launch the megadrone in the U.S. and is reportedly working on the necessary certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration. Once it is commercially available, the EHang megadrone is estimated to cost an eye-watering price tag: $200,000 to $300,000.