Europe could use some good news these days – and here is a piece that can have residents of one beautiful Spanish city looking to the future. Passenger drone company Ehang has entered an agreement with the city of Seville to bring Europe’s first urban air mobility program to Spain.
The city government will work with Ehang on permissions to execute a pilot program to transport passengers by drone. European cities have been heavily involved in efforts to bring urban air mobility to fruition, as cities across the continent deal with increasing ground traffic congestion.
The following is an Ehang press release.
–Signs Cooperation Agreement with Seville City Government—
–Aerial Light Show Will Celebrate 500th Anniversary of Magellan Voyage–
— Will Promote the Commercialization of Passenger-grade AAV, Air Logistics and Command and Control Platforms—
(Guangzhou, China, March 16, 2020) — EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH) (“EHang” or the “Company”), the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company today announced that the company entered into a cooperation agreement with the city government of Seville, Spain to execute the first Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pilot program in Spain.
The agreement specifies that EHang will work with the Seville government to develop the urban air mobility including passenger transportation, air logistics and command and control platforms in the city. The city will also collaborate on applications for permission to conduct test flights, in accordance with Spanish and European legislation, and will coordinate with EHang in the planning of flight routes.
Furthermore, EHang will perform an aerial light show to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the world, which started in Seville. EHang is honored to partner with Seville in celebrating its place in the history of exploration, and looks forward to working with Seville to make real a new phase in transportation technology.
Seville Mayor Juan Espadas Cejas commented, “Establishing the partnership with EHang, one of the world’s leading UAM enterprises, is a great opportunity for Seville. Our city has a rich legacy in European aviation, which we believe can promote EHang’s AAV tests, operations, and permitting applications both in Spain and Europe. We look forward to EHang’s first flight in Seville and hope our cooperation will facilitate the commercialization of its UAM ecosystem in Europe.”
“Seville has developed a rich culture over its 2,000 years of history, so we are delighted to collaborate with the Seville government to bring new UAM technology to this ancient city. There are many old, narrow paths in the old town of Seville, which are inaccessible to automobiles. We believe our AAV can be a great solution for the city to relieve traffic congestion and better preserve historic sectors. Furthermore, as a popular tourist city, we hope to open up flying routes for sightseeing so that visitors from around the world can experience the spectacular cityscape of Seville by air,” said Mr. Hu Huazhi, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang.
“We’re glad to establish strategic partnership with Seville to set a good example of UAM city in Europe. Seville is our first UAM pilot city in Spain and we believe our partnership will make it a more innovative, intelligent and sustainable city. As a pioneer in history, Seville was well-reputed internationally as the starting point for Columbus’s discovery the new world and for Magellan’s voyage around the world for the first time. Today, Seville sets sail again with EHang and will surely take a lead in urban air mobility development of Spain and Europe in foreseeable future.” said Victoria Jing Xiang CEO of EHang Spain & Latin America.
According to the European Commission’s urban mobility report, over 60% of European citizens live in urban areas of over 10,000 inhabitants, and they are facing with traffic congestion and air pollution. Congestion in the EU costs nearly EUR 100 billion every year, accounting for 1% of the EU’s annual GDP.
As a frontrunner in UAM development in Spain, Seville joined the UAM Initiative Cities Community launched in 2017 by the EU’s EIP-SCC (European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities) project to promote the transformation of urban three-dimensional transportation.
In recent years, UAM has emerged as an efficient and eco-friendly solution for urban transport. It not only provides a convenient way to transport people and cargo, could also create more than 100,000 jobs for the European Union, according to EIP-SCC’s report on urban air mobility.
As a pioneer and leader in the field of UAM, EHang is driving the development of a global UAM industry. The Company will continue to establish more UAM pilot program cities around the world.