Flying taxis set to take off in China as Beijing pumps up `low-altitude economy’

EHang’s EH216-S was the first eVTOL in the world to receive a Type Certificate

Beijing:  Guangzhou, Guangdong province, is on the brink of making unmanned aerial taxis a reality. EHang Holdings, a leading urban air mobility company, expects to receive operational certification for its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the EH 216-S, this year.

Wang Zhao, Chief Operating Officer of EHang Holdings, announced the company’s internal testing for the EH 216-S, stating that prices for the aerial taxis will be slightly higher than current ride-hailing services. This announcement was made during a conference in Guangzhou focused on advancing the low-altitude economy and unmanned transport systems.

Guangzhou’s initiative includes 20 measures to develop its low-altitude economy, supported by a 10 billion yuan ($1.37 billion) venture capital fund. The city’s plan includes 12 application scenarios for unmanned systems, such as transportation, logistics, emergency rescue, and unmanned taxis. By 2027, Guangzhou aims to establish 100 takeoff and landing stations.

EHang Holdings has already received several certifications from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and has successfully demonstrated its eVTOL aircraft in various applications. With operational certification, Guangzhou would become the first Chinese city to operate commercial unmanned flights.

The low-altitude economy in Guangzhou is projected to reach 150 billion yuan. The city plans to foster collaboration between enterprises, universities, and research institutions to enhance research and manufacturing, promote low-altitude airspace access, and integrate transportation management across air, land, sea, and space. Guangzhou will also collaborate with other cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to efficiently develop the low-altitude economy industry chain. Ding Ning, Executive Vice-President of the Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, emphasized the practical significance of organized development to avoid redundant construction and promote industry health in the Bay Area.

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