Global first: autonomous passenger drone gets approval to fly

Well this is cool: an autonomous drone that carries people around cities just received regulatory approval. From my story at Forbes:

In a global first, an autonomous passenger drone has received safety and airworthiness approval and will soon launch commercial operations: carrying passengers in the air via an unmanned quadcopter craft.

The craft is the EHang 216-S, which takes off vertically, can fly two passengers up to 30 kilometers or 19 miles at 130 kph, or 81 miles per hour, and produces no emissions thanks to its electric-only engine.

“We will launch commercial operations of the EH216-S unmanned eVTOLs, prioritizing safety above all,” Huazhi Hu, the founder, chairman and CEO of EHang said in a statement. “Our self-developed EH216-S passenger-carrying UAV system has finally met high expectation to secure the first TC in the global eVTOL industry, marking a significant chapter in civil aviation history.”

Get the full story in my Forbes column …