Saturday, January 9, 2016

EHANG 184 unveils at CES

I'm a little envious of Johnnie Walker who is at the CES in Las Vegas because I think he is seeing the seed of a new form of transportation for mankind.  Like the original Model A which made the automobile and the US an industrial force to be reckoned with, I believe that this human carrying drone is the next technological break-thru for the human race.  The first iPhone and iPod opened a whole new generation of devices and technological innovation and I believe the EHANG 184 will go down in history in the same vein - a whole new class of human transport.



While still a bit pricey at $200-$300K apiece, it will definitely take some mass production and demand to make it available to the general population.  But that can easily happen as Amazon has long announced plans for same day deliver of  packages via drones and other companies will surely follow.  If the price gets down into the 50K range, it will definity make it extremely popular.  Imagine an automated fleet of these instead of taxi drivers...a kind of aerial version of Uber.

The hangup is that this technology is so new that the regulators such as the FAA haven't thought about how to deal with this wrinkle in the crowded airspace we have today.  I also expect that as the cost begin coming down, the automobile and oil lobbies will be tugging at the politicians to create barriers.  Boo birds will say because its invented and made in China that it won't be any good.  Well, all the iPhones are made in China and we don't hear that same complaint about them.

In the meantime, it will be good to dream.  Instead of self driving cars, wouldn't it be better to just get in, push a button, enjoy the view and get off at your destination?...  No traffic, pedestrians, or parking problems either.

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