EHang‘s EH216 autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) has completed its first passenger-carrying autonomous flight demonstration in Japan, which also marks the first passenger-carrying flight for an autonomous eVTOL aircraft 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 of Japan.

Sato Kiichiro, mayor of Oita, attended the event and delivered a speech, saying: “Last July, EH216 completed its Japan’s first point-to-point trial flight in Oita, receiving overwhelming responses.

“EH216 takes on the challenge of passenger-carrying flight here, and I am very pleased to witness this moment.

“I hope that [the] 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.”

Japan’s first passenger-carrying flight

Earlier in July 2022, EH216 completed Japan’s first eVTOL point-to-point demo flight for air mobility in Oita City, making a breakthrough in exploring UAM use cases in Japan. As EHang completes Japan’s first passenger-carrying flight, the project has progressed to the next stage.

This year, 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.

Xin Fang, chief operating officer of EHang, said: “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.”
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