Autonomous 'Air Taxi' takes to the skies for European premier

Austrian FACC aviation company and the Chinese EHang Air Mobility Group's EHang 216 air taxi will take to the skies in Vienna, Austria, for it's European premier. 

The first autonomous EHang 216 air taxi, which is airworthy right now, will be introduced to the public at the 4GAMECHANGERS Festival.

The plane has the capacity to seat two passengers and weighs up to 340 kg (750 pounds) and can fly up to 150 km per hour (90 mph) for 'almost half an hour'.


It can travel between 50 and 70 kilometres depending on the payload, according to FACC Chief Executive Officer Robert Machtlinger.  

The company claim that it has been tested comprehensively and that it has several thousand orders of the pilot-less 'flying taxi' which costs £257,000. 

Mr Norbert Hover, the Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria, said at a press conference: “I hope that Austria will be the place where thousands of these drones, of these air taxis will be built and I hope that very soon we will see a lot of these air taxis in the air".

Robert Machtlinger, FACC’s CEO, said: “Autonomous flying will be possible earlier than autonomous driving, since, unlike street traffic, flying involves completely new routes. Autonomous control allows very precise, steady flight".

Derrick Xiong, Co-Founder of EHang siad: “The innovative, environmentally friendly drive technology combined with digitalisation allows safe controlling and a completely new flight experience". 

The official European premiere will be at the 4GAMECHANGERS Festival, where all attendees will have the opportunity to become familiar with air taxis. 

Michael Stix, CCO of ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4, said: “In addition to flawless technology and safety in use, technological innovations require one thing in particular: people have to recognise the utility and trust the new technology. We consider it our task to inform people about new forms of mobility and to discuss them".  

The festival will take place between 9-11 April 2019. 

Image: Source; EHang

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