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World's first human-carrying drone is the closest we've come to a flying car

Ehang 184
Ehang 184
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Personal mini helicopters that get us from A to B seem like a far-away innovation of the future,but they could actually be close to becoming reality.

Chinese drone manufacturer Ehang Inc has revealed its new Ehang 184 drone at CES 2016 – and it's the first autonomous aerial vehicle that can carry a human being.

It looks a little like a personal quadcopter, with four rotors. On a full charge the drone can fly for two hours straight with up to 220 pounds of weight on board.

All change

It's large enough to fit one person and a small backpack, and for comfort there's air conditioning on board as well as a reading light – so you can entertain yourself if you get bored of looking out the window/desperately need to find the "emergency eject" section of the instructions.

ehang 184

The Ehang 184 can reach up to 63mph and can fly at a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet. It's designed to fly an average of 1,000 to 1,650 feet from the ground.

ehang 184

It's unlikely that this prototype vehicle will be taking to the air in numbers in the near future though.

The company's CEO said it had completed over 100 flights of the Guangzhou, but the idea of a human travelling inside a drone only complicates matters when it comes to drone policy.

However, the technology could be applied in areas other than passenger travel – for example, these types of drone could also be used in rescue missions in hard-to-access areas.

Via Phys

James Peckham
James Peckham

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He's currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone.