Guangzhou commuters to use autopilot drone aircraft taxis

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/18 20:23:39

The residents of a South China city could soon be commuting to work in autopiloted flying drone taxis after Guangzhou government signed an agreement with EHang, the website of the Economic Observer, a Chinese economic newspaper, reported on Friday.

Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, plans to build "the world's first air traffic pilot city," according to Hu Huazhi, CEO of EHang on Tuesday.

The routes of the self-driving unmanned aircraft are point-to-point and controlled by a dispatch center, Hu noted, adding that the company has set up fixed virtual flight lanes to ensure passengers cannot operate the aircraft. "This helps guarantee flight safety," Hu said.

A full backup system prevents the aircraft from getting out of control or crashing even if there is a malfunction, Hu said, and the dispatch center will direct aircraft to return or make an emergency landing in unexpected circumstances.

Guangzhou will open four autopilot routes this year, and allow aircrafts to fly within 11 districts by 2021, Hu said.

After the routes open, production and operation of the self-driving unmanned aircraft will be promoted, he said.

As the commercialization of autopilot unmanned aircraft needs policy support - such as air traffic control - from the government, Hu noted, if the self-driving unmanned aircraft can be commercialized, non-drivers can commute in drones "just like taking a taxi."

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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