Chinese ‘passenger drone’ to be tested in US later this year
The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, a state nonprofit group sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, will work to help the EHang 184 test and develop its system, state-run People’s Daily reported.
The institute will develop test criteria to help EHang Inc prove aircraft worthiness to the Federal Aviation Administration, the report said. Chinese firm EHang expects to begin testing of the drone in Nevada later this year. The drone reportedly can fly at altitudes up to 3.5 kilometre for more than 2o minutes. The firm is also working to “revolutionise the way organs are transported in the US” by ferrying them by drone.
In another development, Chinese online retailer JD.com has begun using drones for deliveries in the countryside of east China’s Jiangsu Province.
The service around Suqian City, hometown of JD.com’s founder Liu Qiangdong, can more than halve the cost of delivery to less than 0.5 yuan (USD cents 7.6 cents) per parcel, Xiao Jun, vice president of JD.com.
At a delivery depot in Suqian’s Caoji township, two drones are capable of handling 200 parcels a day.