EHang’s EH216 passenger-grade Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) has completed its first passenger-carrying autonomous flight demonstration in Japan.
The EH216 flew with two passengers and no pilot onboard for a trip along the coastline of Tanoura Beach in Oita City, under the approval of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan.
The demonstration is also believed to be the first passenger-carrying flight for an autonomous eVTOL aircraft in Japan.
Mayor of Oita, Sato Kiichiro, said: “Last July, EH216 completed Japan’s first point-to-point trial flight in Oita, receiving overwhelming responses. Today, EH216 takes on the challenge of passenger-carrying flight here, and I am very pleased to witness this moment. I hope that today’s passenger-carrying flight test will accelerate autonomous aerial vehicles to take a further step toward practical use cases, so that this industry full of opportunities could be in full swing.”
Kirino Hiroshi, Chairman of the Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC) and one of the passengers in the EH216, commented: “EH216 is a leader in the eVTOL field with extensive experience in passenger-carrying flights. This successful flight test of EH216 in Oita Prefecture has shown us the possibilities of experiencing the beauty and pleasure the skies offer without a pilot. We look forward to EH216’s flight tests in more cities, and the future when EH216 can be deployed and applied in Japan.”
Xin Fang, Chief Operating Officer of EHang, added: “Over the past two years, EH216 has achieved one milestone after another in Japan with several rounds of demo and trial flights. This year brought passengers the possibility of riding in the air with this cutting-edge product and technology. All these milestones are inextricably linked to the support and trust of MLIT of Japan, local government departments, and our partners. EHang has also demonstrated the reliability of our AAV products. We will continue working with our partners to promote safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly UAM solutions in Japan so as to benefit more people worldwide with our passenger-grade AAVs.”
In July 2022, EH216 completed Japan’s first eVTOL point-to-point demo flight for air mobility in Oita City, Oita Prefecture, seen as a breakthrough in exploring UAM use cases in Japan.
EHang and its partner MASC revisited Oita to demonstrate the EH216’s first passenger-carrying autonomous flight within Japan, which is expected to further enhance the awareness and interest of UAM in the local community and accelerate the development of the Japanese UAM industry.