Ehang 216, an autonomous aerial vehicle designed for autonomous on-demand air travel in urban areas and jointly developed by Chinese aircraft developer Ehang and Austria-based aeronautical systems manufacturer FACC, is scheduled to go into serial production in 2020.

According to a report in Aerospace Technology, applications for the Ehang 216 AAV include public transportation, tourism and sight-seeing, medical evacuation/aid, and short distance logistics. It has a maximum cruise speed of 130km/h and a range of 35 km.

The electrical vertical take-off and landing aircraft was introduced to the public for the first time at the 4Gamechangers Festival held in April, in Vienna. Demonstration flights were conducted in Qatar and the Netherlands in 2018, while the certification process is currently underway.

FACC and Ehang aim to manufacture up to 300 aircraft in Austria by 2020 and up to 3,000 air taxis by 2025, the report said. The company also aims to start local production of the units in North America and Asia.

Ehang 216 AAV is a low-altitude, high-power, self-driving aircraft made using carbon composite material and metals and can perform fully autonomous flight using the on-board advanced flight control system, intelligent navigation system and a global positioning system.

Powered by 16 electric motors, which are connected to 16 propeller blades in coaxial double-baled design, the AAV is fitted with a full back-up and fail-safe system in the event of any system failure, the report said.