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World´s first drone taxi

Last week I made a quick trip to Guangzhou, China to visit the HQ of a company that I have been following a few years called EHang. Ehang have become famous for their consumer Ghost drones and being a pioneer in unmanned autonomous vehicles. Last year it was name "World's Best Innovative Companies" by Fast Company. Together with Huawei, they are on track to make the idea of flying taxis into a reality.

When I reached the Guangzhou location in the evening, I was intrigued by the large colonial designed building that housed Ehang HQ. Inside I was in heaven with thousands of drones lining the hallways and walls. Now this is a place where I would love to work!

But most impressive of all was the Ehang Command and Control Centre which was something you'd see in a military movie - massive screens and operators ensuring that everything was functioning well.

We moved outside to the hangar which house around 10 built and partially built Ehang 184s (their current model).

From the few minutes that I spent with one of their lead engineers, here's a summary of what I found out about the Ehang 184 Drone Taxi:

  • Made mostly of carbon fibre materials
  • Total weight of the EHang 184 is around 200kg
  • Flight time is 23 minutes
  • Lithium battery
  • Has had around 1000 hours of test and flight time
  • Looking to go live in Guangzhou very soon

What made the trip even more interesting was learning about the story about Ehang : it was founded by Mr. Huazhi Hu (CEO) who wanted to make personal flight safer after losing two close friends to plane and helicopter accidents. It's amazing to hear how these sad events drove him to do something positive instead of just accepting the way things were. His vision now is to "Become the World’s Foremost Authority on Intelligent Aerial Vehicles".

EHang have recently joint Huawei's Wireless X Labs to ensure that they're ahead of the game when it comes to using the latest in mobile broadband technology. With Huawei’s 4.5G mobile network, EHang can ensure increased safety and stability with higher data bandwidth and much lower data latency for better communication.

I’m looking forward to heading back to Guangzhou to actually fly in Ehang’s next iteration of their Drone Taxi!

Thank you EHang and Huawei for the opportunity to check out the EHang 184.

Watch this space! Here's a quick Youtube Video I made of my experience:

Arnold Aranez is an Lean Agile and Lean Innovation Practitioner. He is passionate about leading and teaching organisations about rapid delivery of high quality customer-centric solutions. Arnold is also a technology blogger and tweets (@mr_gadget).


Arnold Aranez
Director of Innovation Delivery at AIA | Lean Agile Coach & Trainer

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