MUMBAI:Commercial drones have gained serious popularity over the past year, making a niche for themselves as an entertaining consumer product, as well as showing possibilities for applications in shopping deliveries.
However, we might be on the cusp of the biggest development for drones yet. EHang, a company that builds drones, has just received permission to test a prototype for the first ever human transport drone in Nevada.
The EHang 184 is an aerial, autonomous drone for a single passenger. The person sits inside the drone, inputs their destination into the on-board navigation system and the drone takes care of the rest. The hardware is designed to work completely alone, with no input from a pilot inside the ground or on the ground. The drone’s manufacturers have partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) for development, flight testing, and training, and is expected to begin trialling the drone sometime in 2017.
Founder and CEO of EHang, Huazhi Hu, said in a statement, “Partnering with GOED and NIAS is a big step for EHang 184 to move forward to government regulatory approval(in the US)…..which will lay the foundation for its commercialization and building up the aerial transportation ecosystem in the future.”
Currently, thanks to issues related to the invasion of privacy, drones are banned from flying above people not involved with the drone or its owner. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been looking to slacken those regulations, especially where the commercial applications for drones are concerned.