50 EHang drone taxis ordered by Japanese tour operator

Japanese tour operator AirX has placed an order with Chinese manufacturer EHang for the delivery of 50 two-person EH216 drone taxis. The intention is that the electric flying taxis will be used for the first time during the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. AirX still uses helicopters to transport passengers on demand.

50 Ehang Drone Taxis Ordered By Japanese Tour Operator

50 EHang drone taxis for tourist sightseeing flights

AirX offers more than 100 tourist helicopter routes in . To date, the company has operated over 2,000 charter flights and carried 15,000 passengers. The company operates around 200 on-demand flights annually, mainly in the field of sightseeing. It is also possible to book private transport with AirX.

In the near future, the helicopters should be replaced by eVTOLs, electrically powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically. To make this concrete, AirX has ordered 50 drone taxis of the EH216 type from . These aircraft are capable of carrying two passengers over a short distance without a pilot on board. AirX is aiming for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka as a start date.

Ehang EH216 drone taxis offer ‘Great potential’

Tezuka Kiwamu, founder and CEO of AirX, emphasizes that Japan’s lower air traffic and tourism market has great potential.

“By leveraging the benefits of autonomous flying in combination with centralized control, the EH216 enables us to offer cost-effective aerial sightseeing services,” Kiwamu said. “That is why AirX has chosen EHang as its partner in the global market. We look forward to providing consumers with safe and convenient travel options in the future with the EH216.”

50 Ehang Drone Taxis Ordered By Japanese Tour Operator

Huazhi Hu, the founder, chairman and CEO of EHang, sees the partnership with AirX as an important milestone for his company.

“It helps us to further explore and develop the UAM market in Japan,” he says. “We are pleased to see an increasing number of aviation partners introducing EHang’s safe, autonomous and sustainable solutions to the general public.”

Certification

In the meantime, EHang says it is making great strides in the certification of the EH216 AAV. After all, no commercial flying is allowed without such a certificate.

On its own soil, the company says it is only months away from approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of (CAAC). In Japan, EHang already conducted a number of test flights a few months ago.

At the end of 2021, EHang claimed to have already made more than 20,000 automated flights with the electric two-seater, in 11 different .

Earlier that year, EHang came under fire from an activist American investment firm, which claimed that EHang’s technology was far less advanced than the company made it seem. The stock price of EHang then plummeted.

50 Ehang Drone Taxis Ordered By Japanese Tour Operator 1

This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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