EHang, a flying air taxi startup based in China, has successfully completed an autonomous flight over the Villa Blackstone Beach in Bali, Indonesia.
The goal of the flight is to demonstrate how the air taxis might be used for sightseeing in one of the world’s tourism hotspots. The flight was conducted under cooperation with Prestige Aviation, a local partner that is a subsidiary of Prestige Corp.
In the video, the EHang 216 aircraft is seen preparing for flight and then taking off from a location near the beach. It flies over the ocean and along the beach before landing.
The flight was the first passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) flight approved by Indonesian government for a public unmanned flight demonstration.
“The successful flight demo fully showcased EHang 216’s potential for efficient island hopping and air transportation,” said Hu Huazhi, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang.
EHang has been developing autonomous air mobility aircraft for the past few years including the EHang 184, a ready-to-fly electric manned air taxi that can take off and land vertically requiring no runways. Two years ago, EHang made waves by claiming to be the first flying car (again the EHang 184) to carry an actual passenger in Lianyungang city, a prefecture-level city in Jiangsu province in China. The travelers flew in a remote area of the city to other parts of the city and back again.
Earlier this year, the company started trial flights in Japan for its EHang 216 AAV, the first passenger-grade air taxi to be granted permission to operate in an outdoor open airspace in the country.
The company has also tested its EHang 216L for cargo delivery that can haul about 440 lb for air mobility logistics, a market expected to reach $46 billion by 2023, according to Frost & Sullivan.