Chinese flying carmaker EHang has obtained a Canadian test flight permit for its flagship passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle, EHang 216, as the company tries to commercialize its self-flying vehicle services.
The Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), which was issued by the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), allows EHang 216 to conduct routine trial flights in Quebec, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
“This is another milestone in regulatory breakthroughs for EHang 216 and the first of this kind of permit for periodic operations of passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicles,” Ehang said.
EHang has so far gained test flight approvals from aviation authorities in countries including China, the U.S. and Norway, the company said.
In China, EHang has been testing its products for various uses including sightseeing, cargo logistics and search and rescue operations.
Guangzhou-based EHang is building an “airport” for sightseeing trips in the southern Chinese city of Hezhou, scheduled to be able to handle the taking off and landing of around 20 EHang 216s by the end of 2020. The Nasdaq-listed company is also using EHang 216s in a commercial pilot program for heavy-lift air logistics in Taizhou, in the east of China.
In the first quarter of 2020, EHang posted a net loss of 20.4 million yuan ($2.9 million) on revenues of 18.8 million yuan, according to the company’s quarterly earnings report. During the period, the company sold nine EHang 216s, compared with three units a year earlier, the financial report said.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)