International Design Project - Ambulance Drone

Posted By MIRIAM McNabb editor in chief  

EHang Holdings has announced that it has been selected to join Ambular, an international project to design the ultimate emergency vehicles: ambulance drones.  “Supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”), the project also seeks to inspire the global aviation community to unleash the potential of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft,” says an EHang press release.

Since introducing the EHang Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV), EHang has successfully proven the safety and reality of passenger drones.  Most recently, they’ve worked to demonstrate the variety of uses for AAV: including cargo transport, search and rescue, emergency response, and firefighting.  Now, EHang is taking part in an international project to develop ambulance drones: a public sector application that offers tremendous benefit for traffic-bound urban communities.

EHang claims to be “the first company in the world to launch and commercialize passenger-grade AAVs, which achieved a new milestone in the deployment and proliferation of Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”).” With a proven platform, EHang will contribute the necessary hardware (such as rotors and motors) to the Ambular project.

In the last year, EHang has actively tested numerous medical and emergency scenarios in China, as well as signing several agreements to test passenger drone transportation systems in Europe.  Their experience in the platform should help speed the development of ambulance drones.  “EHang’s expertise and experience in using AAVs for emergency response is also expected to significantly accelerate development of the project,” says an EHang press release.  “For example, in February 2020, EHang’s two-seat passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, served as an air ambulance to transport medical supplies and personnel to a hospital during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, which currently relies mainly on ambulances or helicopters.”

EHang Founder, Chairman and CEO, Huazhi Hu said, “We are excited to join the ICAO-supported Ambular project, where we can work with industry leaders to fulfill the mission of ‘saving critical minutes’ in emergencies.  This can demonstrate the great value of UAM to society.  We see that UAM has the potential to materially improve transportation and have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.  Safety, smart cities, cluster management and eco-friendliness form the fundamental tenets for a modern UAM ecosystem.  The development of UAM systems will create a viable alternative to existing ground transportation.”