Air taxi company EHang flies autonomously in the US (North Carolina) for the first time

Aerial passenger drone startup EHang flew its EHang 216 two-seat self-flying taxi fully autonomously in North Carolina last night, a first for the company both in the U.S. and North America. EHang, which is based in Guangzhou, China, has already demonstrated its vehicle in flight at home and in different parts of Europe and Asia, but this is the first time its aircraft has received approval to fly by the FAA, and EHang is now working toward extending that approval to flying with passengers on board, which is a key requirement for EHang’s eventual goals of offering commercial service in the U.S.

This demonstration flight, which took place in Raleigh, included flying North Carolina governor Roy Cooper on board the two-seat aircraft. Eventually, EHang hopes to deploy these for use across a number of different industries, for transportation of both passengers and cargo along autonomous, short-distance routes in and around urban areas.