Humans flying has become a not-so-unusual experience in modern life, but would you climb aboard a drone? There is a plethora of videos online showing medium to large drones being smashed around the place, but what about a supersized drone designed to carry people?
CES 2016: Ehang 184 – Supersized drone
Picture for a moment, a Fiat Cinquecento; the car made famous for being a ball of shite in The Inbetweeners. Let’s go one step further. Stick two gullwing doors on, knock off the wheels and slap on a few propellers and there you have it, one of the craziest machines on this earth.
This is the Ehang 184, a single passenger Personal Flying Vehicle (PFV). The Ehang 184 claims to be able to deliver a single human passenger weighing up to 260 pounds anywhere within a 10 mile radius or 23 minute flight time.
Ehang 184 – Experience
Completely mental is the only description we can think of. Once you climb into your PFV, you will only have minimal controls which you can select through your smartphone. This will include, choosing a location, take off and land. As we said, pretty basic. What makes it all mental is the fact you’ll have very minimal control over this PFV which bombs its way to your destination at a top speed of 62mph and a maximum height of 11,000 feet.
Ehang 184 – Safety
Surely safety will be one of the biggest hangups for such a mad idea. The manufacturer, Ehang, has stated that should anything occur during a flight, fail-safes initiate to automatically land the craft. Plans are afoot for an eventual command centre which will monitor all of the crafts individually. I can’t imagine the aviation authorities will be too happy with these crafts as they have been slow to warm to small enough drones, let alone these automated behemoth.
Ehang 184 – Price
You might have to give up that 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish you were saving for if you want the Ehang 184 as it comes in around the same price of $300,000. A bargain for 23 flying time in a crazy flying machine that will probably be illegal within two years.