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China's revolutionary EHang 184 passenger carrying craft set to be tested in Nevada

(Mail Online)    13:38, June 08, 2016

It took the technology world by storm when it was announced at CES in Las Vegas.

Now a Chinese firm that has build a self flying 'passenger drone' says it could soon begin testing in Nevada.

The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, a state nonprofit group sponsored by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, will work to help EHang test and develop its system, officials said Monday.

EHang and Lung Biotechnology hope to use 1,000 drones to deliver artificial human organs to hospitals around the US.

'We first met them at the (International) Consumer Electronics Show in 2016,' Mark Barker, the institute's business development director, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal

'Tom Wilczek (the defense aerospace industry representative at the governor's economic development office) and I were there and we went into their booth and we saw this EHang 184 — it caught everybody's attention.

The institute will develop test criteria to help EHang Inc. prove aircraft worthiness to the Federal Aviation Administration.

'We will help them submit necessary test results and reports to the FAA and all that kind of stuff,' Barker said.

'It's a big deal for EHang and it's a big deal for NIAS and the state of Nevada because we will be helping them to test and validate their system.'

This partnership will advance the state's commercial drone industry, Wilczek said in a statement.

'I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada's transportation system,' he said.

EHang expects to begin testing in Nevada later this year.

It is also working to 'revolutionize the way organs are transported in the U.S' by ferrying them by drone.

The firm has revealed a collaboration with Lung Biotechnology PBC to develop and purchase up to 1,000 units of an evolved version of the 184, the world's first autonomous drone for humans, to automate organ transplant delivery.

The two companies have agreed to work together over the course of the next fifteen years to optimize the 184 for organ deliveries, a program which they are calling the Manufactured Organ Transport Helicopter (MOTH) system.

Lung Biotechnology specializes in manufacturing lungs and other organs for transplant using a variety of technologies, including pig-to-human xenotransplantation, as well as regenerating them from stem cells.

It plans to station the MOTH rotorcrafts outside of its organ manufacturing facilities, and use preprogrammed flight plans to hospitals and re-charging pads within the MOTH radius so that the manufactured organs can be delivered within their post-production window of viability.

This huge shift in organ production and delivery has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

'We anticipate delivering hundreds of organs a day, which means that the system will help save not only tens of thousands of lives, but also many millions of gallons of aviation transport gasoline annually,' said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Lung Biotechnology.

'The well-known locations of transplant hospitals and future organ manufacturing facilities makes the EHang technology ideal for Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) and Low-Level IFR Route (LLIR) programs.'

Currently, organ transplants are limited by the number of brain-dead donors, which results in thousands of deaths on organ transplant waiting lists each year.

In the case of lung transplants, only about 2,000 lung procedures are performed annually, whereas over 200,000 people in the U.S. die of end-stage lung disease each year.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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