The Chinese eVTOL developer EHang has announced an agreement with the Spanish National Police to collaborate in exploring the potential for autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs) in emergency and security missions, including rescue and surveillance.
The announcement, made during Press Day of the World Air Traffic Management Congress, coincided with the first public exhibition of EHang’s EH216 “passenger-grade” AAV in Spain at the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome in Madrid.
Under the agreement, to which the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) will also be a party, EHang and the Spanish National Police will undertake trial flights and case analysis to study the potential of AAV technology to make police operations safer and more effective.
In a press release announcing the collaboration, the chief commissioner of the Spanish National Police’s air vehicles unit stated, “AAV technology holds the promise to significantly improve our capability in emergency and security missions, such as firefighting, accessing contaminated areas with nuclear, radiological, bacteriological or chemical risks, landing in confined areas, transporting material, and other police services that may require agile mobility. The application of the AAV technology makes the Spanish National Police a vanguard among police using AAV technology nationally and internationally.”
Announcement of the agreement comes a month after EHang completed its first test flights for the European Union’s GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace Validation project and indicates that the Chinese manufacturer will continue to pursue collaborations in Europe even as it expands operations in Asia.
Victoria Xiang, CEO of EHang Spain & LATAM, emphasized the importance of the collaboration to EHang, saying, “The application of AAVs in emergency, national security matters and the fight against the pandemic is crucial and advantageous for the public sector. Autonomous, sustainable, and efficient mobility enables the authorities to execute their tasks in an environmentally friendly manner. EHang and the Spanish National Police will work jointly to leverage this cutting-edge technology to benefit citizens and society.”