EHang, perhaps best known for the last few years as the one company that has an actual development plan for deploying flying cars around cities, has at long last decided on a location. The company’s first operational network is slated for Guangzhou, with the city’s authorities themselves greenlighting the ambitious project.
The concept of flying cars has been one of the most sought after visions of the future by many people for the last few decades. It was frequently portrayed in pop culture, as well as in media such as movies and animated series. In fact, there are even a few real-life pilot projects that were initiated in order to demonstrate how flying cars would actually work.
The challenge, as it turned out, is not the technology (although it was for a time), but the infrastructure. Managing traffic on airports alone can already be a technical hassle. Trying to direct what essentially is directionless traffic by even smaller and more numerous vehicles would become even more of a logistical nightmare.
This starting project, however, will not only show that low-altitude VTOL aircraft is practical for modern urban environments, but that an entire fleet of them can be coordinated without the aforementioned logistical risks.
Just like how EHang demonstrated the capabilities of its individual air taxis at Vienna in 2018, so are they prepared to prove the reliability of the upcoming central traffic management hub that will be constructed for its service fleet.
The chosen city, for its part, will provide open assistance in the construction of all the needed infrastructure. First, of course, would be the allocation of VTOL airports throughout the city, then enough hardware and facilities to continue testing out the air taxis that would be deployed for public use.
Local city officials at Guangzhou are quite confident that this pilot project will have significant long-term benefits for its traffic system. As anyone living in any central urban area in China knows, traffic density in the country is one of the heaviest in the entire world.
Having another layer of transport infrastructure above the already congested highways could prove to be highly beneficial, as it could literally open many more avenues for urban development.