When the 184 was first unveiled in January, there was a lot of speculation regarding what EHang's human-sized drone, capable of transporting a passenger over 10 miles at up to 65 miles per hour, was going to be used for. While drone enthusiasts were looking forward to the Chinese manufacturer actually bringing its impressive machine to the market, others wondered if it was merely a promotional machine that would ultimately bring more attention to the company’s future fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
However, today the company announced that the quadcopter is actually going to serve a very practical cause—delivering organs to transplant patients.
In partnership with Lung Biotechnology PBC, the 184 will be customized so that it can efficiently transport organs swiftly. The company is set to purchase and develop up to 1,000 units, with the intention of using it to automate the organ transplant delivery system.
The plan is part of the Manufactured Organ Transport Helicopter (MOTH) system—a 15 year plan that is still in its early stages, but could one day see contributing to hundreds of organs deliveries on a daily basis.
"The well-known locations of transplant hospitals and future organ manufacturing facilities makes the EHang technology ideal for Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) and Low-Level IFR Route (LLIR) programs," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Lung Biotechnology. "We anticipate delivering hundreds of organs a day, which means that the MOTH system will help save not only tens of thousands of lives, but also many millions of gallons of aviation transport gasoline annually."