Chinese eVTOL developer EHang has launched an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) flight center in Guangzhou, China.
As part of the company’s 100 Air Mobility Routes initiative, EHang has partnered with the Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group to launch the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center.
The 2,000-square-meter (21,500-square-feet) center includes a rooftop take-off and landing vertiport, a hangar for power charging and maintenance, and an automatic guided vehicle parking garage to allow future users to park their vehicles before boarding an eVTOL flight.
EHang will use its command-and-control system, powered by the 5G telecommunication network, to run urban air mobility (UAM) trials at the center, helping prepare the company to launch commercial flights, which it hopes to do “in the next few months,” according to EHang executives.
Huazhi Hu, founder, chair and CEO of EHang, said Guangzhou is the company’s first global UAM pilot city, with the 5G Intelligent Air Mobility Experience Center becoming the latest operation site under the company’s 100 Air Mobility Routes initiative.
“We will use the world’s leading AAV technologies and command-and-control system to provide intelligent, comprehensive solutions for urban air mobility and smart city management in Guangzhou,” Hu said. “We expect to build Guangzhou into a model city for UAM, and have plans to extend it to more cities across the country and worldwide.”
The company said it has conducted UAM mapping across four central areas in Guangzhou’s Huangpu district, testing several operational flight routes for passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, and aerial logistics in Guangzhou.
In addition to expanding its operations in China, last month, EHang announced partnerships to further extend its reach in Japan. The Chinese developer said it has secured the first order for its VT-30 long-range electric AAV — a lift-plus-cruise aircraft targeting a range of 300 kilometers (185 miles) for intercity travel.
EHang is also working with the Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC) to explore applications for its EH216 and VT-30 eVTOL aircraft in Japan, such as emergency rescue, cross-island travel, and aerial logistics.
In a press release, EHang said it completed an emergency rescue flight demonstration in extreme weather with winds of up to 27.5 meters per second (100 kilometers per hour) at the Fukushima Robot Test Field in Japan. The company also completed another flight demonstration carrying a 60-kilogram (132-pound) load at the Kasaoka Air Station in Okayama, Japan.