Well, everyone, if you didn’t think quadcopter drones were cool before, you certainly might now. Someone has finally built a drone big enough to carry a human.
The company behind the “Ghost drone,” called EHang, has announced the 184 Personal Flying Vehicle, or PFV. The drone is about as large as a small car, and is able to fly a human of up to 260 pounds anywhere within 10 miles. While it’s really a prototype right now, it is a working prototype.
According to the company behind the drone, it doesn’t just look like a drone, but it also acts like one. Passengers will only have a few controls, enabling them to take off, pause the flight, and land. All users need to do is push those buttons. Of course, users also have to tell the drone where to go, although a flight path is laid out through the smartphone app, and the drone will take care of the rest.
Of course, there have been other attempts at personal drones for human travel, but they have, for the most part, been more home-made rather than professionally made.
The drone is a one-person pod which has eight rotors on four arms, hence the name 184, and it is able to go as fast as 60 mph in the air. It takes off and lands vertically, can go as high as 11,000 feet, and can fly 23 minutes at sea level. It weighs 440 pounds, can carry one person and a backpack, and has air conditioning and 4G Wi-Fi Internet.
“The 184 provides a viable solution to the many challenges the transportation industry faces in a safe and energy-efficient way,” said EHand CEO Huazhi Hu in a statement. “EHang will make a global impact across dozens of industries beyond personal travel.”
Of course, the real question is whether the drone is safe. According to EHang, there are a number of fail-safe systems in place that will help the drone land if there is a problem, meaning that you won’t just fall out of the sky.
It’s important to note that while the drone was shown off at CES, it wasn’t shown taking off, and while there is a video on the EHang website, it’s not clear if there is a person in the drone in the video. Only time will tell if this kind of drone ends up being the real deal or if it’s just a concept for now. Check out the video below to see the drone in flight!