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Pilot flying taxi in Southeast Asia

IndonesiaThe EHang 216 electric flying taxi model will be tested in Bali in October before starting passenger service in 2022.

In early April, private car importer Prestige Image Motorcars (PIM) announced that it could bring the EHang 216 – an electric flying taxi model developed by China’s EHang – to the Southeast Asian country.

EHang has just said, that the first model of EHang 216 has arrived in Indonesia and will test flight in Bali in October, after obtaining permission from the country’s authorities.

EHang 216 flying taxi. Photo EHang

Bali was chosen as a tourist attraction and flying taxis can help increase the number of tourist activities here. Rudy Halim, president of PIM, told CNBC that the airline aims to provide a flying taxi service to the public in 2022.

The EHang 216 is a two-seat automatic flying taxi model, weighing about 360 kg and a payload of 220 kg. The vehicle has 16 independent rotors mounted in pairs in 8 wings around the cabin, can reach a maximum speed of 130 km / h and a flight time of 21 minutes per charge with a distance of 35 km. Full charge time in one hour.

The EHang 216 does not require a pilot because it can fly autonomously, although it still needs to be monitored, and can be controlled from a center on the ground thanks to 4G or 5G connectivity. With its compact dimensions (5,610 mm wide and 1,770 mm high) and the ability to take off and land vertically, the flying taxi does not require much space. Expected fare is 60 USD per passenger.

In 2020, EHang completed 3 test flights in Korea to demonstrate the potential of passenger transport, emergency rescue and air travel development of electric two-seater autonomous flying vehicle. The plan to commercialize flight services in this East Asian country is in 2023-2025.

Pilot flying taxi in Southeast Asia

EHang 216 test flight in Seoul and Jeju, Korea. Video: EHang

EHang, or Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co., established in 2014, with headquarters in Guangzhou, China, specializes in manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles. The company launched the first flying taxi model in early 2016 and so far has 4 products. With EHang 216, in addition to Indonesia and Korea, the flying taxi model has been tested in a number of other countries such as Japan and Canada.

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