This Jetsons car-style drone will soon carry people over Vegas

 
Lynsey Barber
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Flying cars are almost here (Source: Ehang)

Remember the crazy people-carrying drone, reminiscent of the Jetsons' flying car?

Revealed earlier this year, the Ehang 184 is a drone large enough to carry people that is more like a flying driverless car.

Now, the Chinese firm behind the potentially stomach-churning (but equally revolutionary) vehicle has partnered with the state of Nevada to begin testing the technology in the state, home to Las Vegas.

Read more: I, for one, welcome our imminent driverless car overlords

Ehang founder Huazhi Hu said the deal was a "big step" for the firm, which first showcased its plans at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, adding that it would lay the foundation for commercialising the vehicle and "building up the aerial transportation ecosystem in the future".

"The State of Nevada, through the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems (NIAS), will help guide Ehang through the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regulatory process with the ultimate goal of achieving safe flight,” said Tom Wilczek of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

Read more: UK set for take off in "drones for business" industry worth billions

The state of Nevada is one of a handful of locations across the US where drone technology testing is sanctioned.

The carbon fibre 184 weighs 100kg, travels at low altitude (under 500 metres) and at a speed of 60mph. However, it might only be good for short trips with a hover time of just 23 minutes. After that, you would have to wait between two and four hours to make your return journey - that's how long it takes to charge. It even comes with air conditioning.

Ehang claims the 184 is already at the point of becoming a commercially selling vehicle, albeit with a £130,000 - £200,000 price tag.

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