The cofounder of China’s EHang, the company that is engaged in the development of a passenger drone, claimed to reach profitability in the time period of only the next two years.
The work that is being carried out by EHang involves the transportation of one human passenger over small to medium distances in a drone. The company had showcased the drone with such a capacity at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year which resulted in the company being able to draw worldwide attention.
A weight of about 100 kilograms for a period of 25 minutes is possible to be carried b the drone being developed by the company which has bene named EHang 184 and is powered by electricity. The drone can fly up to a height of 500 meters above sea level and the average speed of the drone is 37 miles per hour or 60 kilometers per hour.
In cities like Dubai, this vehicle is being seriously considered to be used as a mode of transport.
“This EHang 184 product is so unique that we need to put a lot of money in it, and we need to put a lot of engineers,” Derrick Xiong, CEO and co-founder at EHang, said during a television interview at the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou, China. “We do not make a single profit from that product yet, but all the other product lines are making a profit.”
But Xiong said that becoming profitable in the “next two years for sure,” is the target for the company.
The concept and development of drones – which are unmanned aerial vehicles, as it has been incepted to be cheaper and safer replacement for the manned military aircraft. However, as time went on, the usability of the drones has enlarged. One of the areas where drones have become extremely popular is aerial photography as the drones have become more compact and now personal drones are now getting fitted with cameras.
According to a February prediction from research firm Gartner, by the year 2020, about $11.2 billion in revenues is expected to be generated by the drone market.
According to Xiong, the area of commercial applications for drones is an aspect that EHang is trying to tap into. “This year, we (shifted) a lot of the focus from the consumer level to the application, to explore more applications for drones,” he said.
EHang had earlier announced that an intelligent drone monitoring and command and control center would be developed by the company on behalf of the Shaoguan government which would aid in the authorities getting to respond to emergencies. This was said by the company in October. Shaoguan is a city in northern Guangdong province in the mainland.
(Adapted from CNBC)