Chinese autonomous unmanned air vehicle (UAV) manufacturer EHang has picked its home base of Guangzhou to be the global testbed for an urban air mobility city concept.
EHang says the concept will involve establishing a "low-altitude aviation transportation network" that can transport passengers and goods in a "safe, fast, environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and intelligent way". It has, however, given no indication of any timeline.
The company will be working with the Guangzhou government in the pilot, including helping to set up a command and control centre to safely manage the autonomous flying vehicles' movement in the city.
"EHang also intends to help the city build up the basic infrastructure to support urban air mobility, including by designing safety rules and market entry thresholds," the company says.
As part of the pilot programme, EHang is also looking to test passenger flight routes and vertiports before it moves to commercial passenger operations.
It will work with its partners to build up its goods transportation network, and widen its range of goods, including blood and organs for emergency medical use.
EHang's founder, chairman and chief executive Hu Huazhi adds that the company is "in conversation with other cities, not just in China" to look at autonomous air transportation.
EHang's foray into the urban air mobility city concept also comes as the company's development of its own autonomous UAV gathers steam.
It states that it has safely conducted more than 2,000 test flights on its prototype, the EHang 184.