This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was remarkable in so many ways, but there probably wasn't a single thing as exciting as this self-flying, single-seater. Why, you ask? Well, because it looks like a flying robotic thingy from a sci-fi movie, but in reality it's actually a very real product that's going on sale this year! Yes, in 2016, not 6016! Hyped? We are! Can you tell?
EHang, Inc. develops drones that are easily controlled, hoping to make them accessible to everyone anywhere in the world. We're not sure current legislation in several countries would even allow that, but it's a very nice thought. So at this year's CES they presented "the safest, smartest and eco-friendliest low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle", intended for medium-short transportation distances. Meaning that you can take it and fly with it (for up to 23 minutes ) to visit your grandmother, living on the other side of the town. Just imagine the look on your granny's face. Since it's completely autonomous, all you need to do is set your destination using its 12-inch touchscreen control panel and take off by clicking "take-off" button.
The 184 AAV is designed with passenger safety on top of developer's priority list. Should one power system show any sign of abnormality, the drone would still be able to fly and land safely. If any components malfunction or disconnect, the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure safety – even with just one of its four rotor motors operational.
It's fully electric, following the philosophy of the future green technology and has four arms and eight propellers that offer great lifting power and safety. The 184 AAV takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter, and flies in a inverted U shape. It's able to function in thunderstorms, by day or by night. During extreme weather conditions, however, the command center will prohibit the AAV from take-off.
As stated before, the drone will be available in 2016 and it will cost somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000. Maybe it's true, anyone could fly it, but we doubt anyone could actually afford it...
Be sure not to miss the remarkable ''making-of'' video below.