HEZHOU, China -- In a recent video released by the urban air mobility company, the EHang 216 has been used by local authorities of Hezhou city in Guangxi province. The two-passenger autonomous aircraft was successful in transporting medical supplies from Hezhou Square to Hezhou People's Hospital, a transit of about 4 kilometers. After dropping off the supplies at the hospital, the vehicle then returned to the original launch site. The flight was entirely unmanned, a crucial safety precaution during the current medical crisis.
As the coronavirus has heavily effected the densely populated cities of China, the prevention of human to human contact is incredibly important for limiting the transmission of the disease. Supply delivery chains are especially prone to the spread of disease, meaning Ehang's automated system is distinctly suited to help during the current outbreak.
In addition to providing a means for supply transport, the role of the EHang 216 as a passenger vehicle also assists in the transit of medical personnel in emergencies. As part of these flight tests by EHang, Edward Xu, EHang's Chief Strategy Officer, also took a separate trip to the hospital. The use of individualized transit in an emergency allows professionals to get to and from infected sites without the risk of using public transit, risking the further spread of any pathogen. While this test is limited in scope, it provides an example for future uses of the technology for emergencies.