We still don’t have hoverboards, but by 2017 we might have flying cars.
Chinese company EHang announced at CES that they are planning production on an autonomous, human-carrying drone, the EHang 184. It looks like a helicopter, but you can park it in your driveway.
Like we said, it’s autonomous, so passengers input their destination on a tablet inside the drone and then the machine does the rest. The 184 is powered by electricity only and the current model can only fly for 23 minutes before it needs to be charged. However, it is designed so that if one power system fails, the drone can still operate on the normal flight plan for safety. It is also currently only carries one passenger at a time (sorry, Jetsons) and has a 220 pound weight limit. Also, they will cost you an easy $200,000 or $300,000.
EHang is working on setting up control and support centers, but they don’t have any concrete procedures or regulations in place concerning emergencies or maintenance. That’s really encouraging, considering the last futuristic gadget we tried turned out to be rolling boards of fire.