Urban Air Mobility in Europe: EHang to Fly in Austria

urban air mobility in EuropeEHang continues to gain momentum towards widespread implementation of urban air mobility in Europe.

EHang, the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) platform, announced the latest progress under it’s urban air mobility (UAM) pilot city partnership with Linz, Austria.

Aerospace solutions company FACC and LINZ AG have deep expertise in public transportation and charging infrastructure: with EHang, the three parties plan to make Linz a UAM pilot city.  The idea is to implement both passenger flights and drone delivery with drone taxis throughout the city.  While the partners plan to start trial flights soon, they will start construction on a lasting infrastructure of vertiports in 2021.  Routes will be designed to travel over uninhabited areas to vertiports.

“In the course of the trial flight, various aspects will be carefully studied including the practicality of implementation in urban areas, acceptance by the populace and the expected positive impact on the environment, and more,” says the EHang press release. “The project will be led by joint efforts from each partner bringing in their specific expertise. The public service aspect will also be considered, as UAM is not only about purchasing aircraft by private customers. Rather, public benefits are paramount, with a focus on integration into an overall transportation plan.”

EHang Founder, Chairman and CEO Huazhi Hu said, “We will implement the whole value chain that is necessary for UAM operations, as well as demonstrate passenger experience journeys as well. Bookings systems, boarding processes and aftermarket service questions will play a role. In the course of the end-to-end process we will also be able to learn and improve our solutions on the go. We need to start thinking about implementation today, parallel to the ongoing regulatory processes as both will benefit from each other. Last but not least, we want to involve the people and let them touch, feel and experience UAM as far as possible today.”

“Growing urban population is causing serious traffic jams in major cities around the world,” says the press release. “Protecting the air and eliminating CO2 emissions is giving birth to Urban Air Mobility, a new solution to transporting passengers or goods with autonomous aerial vehicles within or between cities.”

The project in Austrial may be the first such implementation of urban air mobility in Europe.  EHang has announced other partnerships in Europe with cities in Spain and is moving forward on operations in China.