CRI聽力:First flying "drone-taxi" takes off in Vienna

Source: CRI    2019-04-06  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

Chinese firm EHang has unveiled its flying "drone-taxi" in Vienna's Generali Arena football stadium in the Austrian capital on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

The Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) drone-cab can hold two persons weighing up to 260 kilograms and can reach up to 130 kilometers per hour at the maximum flight range of 35 kilometers.

EHang says it hopes to use to the drone to carry passengers at low altitude. However, the company still needs to be cleared by Austrian aviation authorities.

A journalist onboard of an Air Taxi EHANG 216 takes a short flight at Generali Arena in Vienna, Austria, on April 4, 2019. [Photo:AFP/ JOE KLAMAR]

"Our biggest challenge is not technology, it's not regulation, it's people's mentality," said EHang's chief marketing officer Derrick Xiong, referring to possible reticence on the part of passengers towards the new vehicle.

Xiong says early interest has come from "oil and gas companies who want to transport engineers from one platform to the other," as well as tourism companies and firms transporting organs for transplant.

He says the EHang AAV is expected to cost around 200,000 euros, but will not be available for private buyers.

The company says it has received "thousands" of pre-orders. It is working with Austrian aeronautics company FACC to start mass production as of next year.

Crew members carry an Air Taxi EHANG 216 during at Generali Arena in Vienna, Austria on April 4, 2019.[Photo:AFP/ JOE KLAMAR]

"Technically speaking it's not a dream, it's a reality," said FACC CEO Robert Machtlinger, adding that the project had already carried out 7,000 flying hours, of which 2,000 have been manned.

The Austrian company says it hopes to produce around 300 of the drone taxis by mid-2021.

(Story includes material sourced from AFP.)

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