EH216-S Pilotless eVTOL Completes Debut Flight in Saudi Arabia

His Excellency Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia attended the flight event
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GUANGZHOU, China, June 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EHang Holdings Limited (“EHang” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: EH), a global leader in urban air mobility (“UAM”) technology, proudly announces the successful autonomous flight of its EH216-S pilotless electric vertical take-off and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This landmark event underscores EHang’s dedication to safety and innovation, marking a significant advancement in the field of autonomous air taxis.

His Excellency Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia attended the flight event
His Excellency Saleh Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia attended the flight event

This historic flight was conducted in partnership with Front End Limited Company (“Front End”), a Saudi-based firm specializing in advanced technological solutions. The collaboration highlights the transformative potential of unmanned eVTOL aircraft in revolutionizing the region’s transportation infrastructure. Rigorous safety protocols were adhered to, emphasizing EHang’s commitment to pioneering secure and innovative UAM solutions.

Collaborative Efforts Driving Innovation

Supported by local authorities, including the Saudi Arabian Civil Aviation Authority (“GACA”), the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Ministry of Hajj, and the Ministry of Interior, this initiative illustrates the power of public-private partnerships in advancing national development goals. The synergy between Front End’s expertise and EHang’s technological prowess has paved the way for a faster, more efficient, and sustainable Hajj pilgrimage.

Guests witnessed the EH216-S pilotless eVTOL's debut flight in Saudi Arabia
Guests witnessed the EH216-S pilotless eVTOL’s debut flight in Saudi Arabia

His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, Chairman of GACA, remarked, “This flight signifies a major leap forward in integrating Advanced Air Mobility (“AAM”) solutions within Saudi Arabia’s aviation landscape. Our commitment to maintaining the highest safety standards and ensuring seamless integration with existing air traffic systems is unwavering.

This flight not only serves as a proof of concept for multiple use cases but also propels various AAM initiatives forward. We are grateful for the pivotal support from Front End and EHang in achieving this historic milestone.”

A Vision for a Connected Kingdom

Mr. Majid Alghaslan, CEO of Front End, emphasized, “Front End is leading this revolutionary initiative that heralds a new era of smart mobility solutions. Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, our objective is to foster a ‘connected kingdom’ and offer our partners a gateway to growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia and beyond. This achievement showcases the strength of government-private partnerships in accelerating the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Our collaboration with EHang has turned this pioneering vision into a tangible reality.”

Creating a Sustainable Future

Flying within protected airspace in a low-risk area is essential for developing the regulatory framework needed for widespread deployment of unmanned eVTOL aircraft. This approach enhances mobility, reduces congestion, and promotes sustainability.

Majid added, “Environmentally friendly eVTOL aircraft provide a cost-effective urban transport solution, mitigating congestion while aligning perfectly with the Kingdom’s sustainability goals. This milestone underscores Front End’s dedication to national development and its commitment to a greener, more efficient future for mobility.”

Global Implications and Future Prospects

Huazhi Hu, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of EHang, commented, “The first flight of the EH216-S unmanned eVTOL in Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in EHang’s global expansion. It represents a crucial step in advancing global UAM reform, showcasing the potential of our unmanned eVTOL products and solutions for broader adoption in the Middle East market. Moving forward, with robust support from GACA and in partnership with Front End, we aim to establish a benchmark for systematic AAM deployment in Saudi Arabia, thereby driving progress in both regional and global AAM markets.”

About Front End

Front End, a visionary leader and wholly Saudi-owned company, excels in providing innovative solutions across critical sectors such as industry, mining, energy, and logistics. Aligning with national efforts to diversify the economy and promote sustainable development, Front End focuses on unlocking the dynamic market potential in Saudi Arabia and beyond. The company offers tailored solutions that ensure rapid scalability and exceptional operational efficiency, thereby supporting national and international growth objectives.


Source: ehang.com

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