The autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) developer EHang has announced plans to launch a sightseeing route in its home city of Guangzhou, China, using EHang 216 eVTOL aircraft.
EHang will be partnering with property developer Guangzhou Heli Chuangxin Real Estate Co. to launch and operate what it describes as “the world’s first commercial in-city sightseeing UAM [urban air mobility] route.” The companies announced their collaboration on Nov. 30 at the opening ceremony for Heli Tiande Center in Guangzhou, where two EHang 216s performed simultaneous flight displays.
“Today’s demo flights mark another key step forward in Guangzhou’s journey to making urban air mobility a reality and lead global efforts in such commercial operations,” stated Hu Huazhi, EHang’s founder, chairman, and CEO. “We are thrilled to be working together with our partners to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly urban air travel as soon as possible.”
The announcement follows EHang’s declaration in August this year that it had selected Guangzhou as its first urban air mobility pilot city. At the time, EHang said it would work with the city to establish the basic infrastructure necessary to support urban air mobility, and to design associated safety rules and market entry thresholds.
EHang also recently filed for a US$100 million initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq, noting a “primary focus” on its home country of China, which it said could be “the world’s largest AAV market in the foreseeable future.”
However, the IPO filing also cautioned investors that “in China, the United States, and other jurisdictions, the commercial use of passenger-grade AAVs, and in some cases non-passenger grade AAVs, is subject to an uncertain or lengthy approval process.”