EHang Holdings Limited, an electric flying car startup, successfully performed maiden unmanned and autonomous flights of its passenger-grade aerial vehicle in Japan.

Prior to the flight, EHang was granted a flight permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) and this was the first passenger-grade autonomous air taxi flight granted permission for outdoor open airspace trial flights in Japan.

Organized by the Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC), the flight is the first of a planned collaboration with EHang to develop new air transportation use cases in the country.

The flights were conducted using EHang’s 216 autonomous aerial vehicle and the Japanese government aims to start the business services of air transportation of goods and people using flying vehicles by 2023 with gradual expansion from rural areas to urban areas.

"At present, many companies around the world have launched such flying car projects, and are conducting research and development and demonstration projects,” said Kato Katsunobu, chief cabinet secretary in Japan. “As the government, we will actively improve aviation regulations while supporting private enterprises in a timely and appropriate manner. "

In the video, the EHang 216 is unveiled on a rural airfield and lifts off flying over the airfield and the adjacent fields.

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