Hooniverse Asks: Would You Trust This Personal Drone With Your Life?

Whether being used to take spectacular aerial pictures or to spy on a sunbathing busty neighbor, drones are a hot commodity right now. Most of them are small, some even so tiny they can fit in the palm of your hand. The EHang 184 however goes the opposite direction, and is large enough to fit a single passenger inside its bubble-like cockpit.
Described as an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, the eight-prop passenger drone is the first to be given authorization to test within the U.S.. Now, that testing approval was given by Nevada, a state that allows gambling, storage of radioactive material, and Britney Spears to marry randoms, so take that with a grain of salt.
Also to be taken with some trepidation is the safety of the Chinese-built drone. Claimed to be able to whisk a single occupant up to 23 miles autonomously, it still looks like something the cast of Jackass used to throw heads of cabbage and Wee Man into. It may be the future of rich-guy personal transportation, but I don’t think I’m sold on it yet. What about you, would you even let this thing get you more than two feet off the ground?
Image: IBTimes

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Not sure that sounds tempting, but…4×2 rotors do have which advantage over a conventional passenger helicopter?

    1. Alff Avatar

      More blades = thinner slices

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        So it returns a reliably better mileage?

        1. Alff Avatar

          I don’t know. I simply meant you will be converted to more appealing luncheon meat when they let go.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            I was somehow hit by a wave of seriousness in the last office minutes of the day. Won’t happen again, ha!

        2. Tiberiuswise Avatar

          Huh, I assumed a closer shave.

  2. kogashiwa Avatar

    This would make my commute so much better.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    I like the ground – I don’t enjoy flying in a plane. I can say with utmost certainty that I will never fly in a helicopter, a hot-air balloon, zeppelin, or glider. Hell I don’t like being on ladder. So there is no way, NO WAY, I’m climbing in that thing and leaving the beautiful, beautiful earth.

  4. Alff Avatar

    At this moment, I would be happy to be the millionth passenger. Opinion subject to change 999,999 times.

  5. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I think it is a great idea. Even better idea? Let the skinny guy go first.

  6. JayP Avatar

    I barely trust my clothes dryer to shut off automatically.

  7. CruisinTime Avatar

    Now this is where it gets really scary. Reports from the EHang booth at
    CES say that the “pilot” or better say passenger in the cockpit will not
    have a chance to fly the aircraft or take over controls from the
    autonomous system.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Any word about being able to open the hatch?

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Don’t worry. There’s a downward-firing ejection seat!

  8. Professor Lavahot Avatar
    Professor Lavahot

    I hope I’m never in such a big hurry in life that this will seem necessary.

  9. jeepjeff Avatar

    I’d try it once. I don’t think I’d be interested in any more rides than that because of the whole “I’m not piloting it” business. Make ’em reliable and have ’em rack up a solid safety record and half my friends would use them regularly.
    I was going to make a jab about safety and construction concerns, and then I remembered the state of all the vehicles I’ve piloted in the last year and realized that’s not actually a big concern. If the thing isn’t obviously in bad shape, then the likelihood of failure isn’t going to be big enough to worry me.
    So worth trying, but I’m highly certain I’d want to stick with motorcycles for efficient, traffic busting personal transportation.

  10. Batshitbox Avatar

    I hope the autopilot knows where every power transmission line in Nevada is, because most power companies can’t even tell you for sure.

  11. ptschett Avatar

    No… we can’t all be Jebediah Kerman.

  12. Inliner Avatar

    I wonder what happens when you’re nearly out of range …