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Embraer completes eVTOL test flights over Rio de Janeiro

On Friday, Embraer announced that it had concluded a series of experimental flights in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These flights focused on evaluating new autonomous system technologies under real-world flight conditions, aimed at enabling safe autonomous operations in complex urban environments. The Brazilian company is working with EVE, a startup developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Let’s investigate further.

Experimental eVTOL flights

eVTOL technology is rapidly developing around the world. Many companies are looking to build commercially autonomous aircraft to establish urban air mobility around the world. Embraer is one such company, along with many others like Airbus, Boeing, Vertical Aerospace, etc.

Embraer and EVE have launched a project to evaluate new autonomous system technologies under real flight conditions.

The Brazilian company used regularly flown helicopters for aerial data collection and real-time evaluation of these technologies in urban scenarios.

These experiments are part of the Embraer Autonomous Systems project, also known as Project EASy, which uses an agile testing process to develop solutions that will enable the autonomous aviation of the future, Embraer said in a statement. In a nutshell, Embraer is in the early stages of developing the systems that allow EVE VTOL to fly safely in an urban environment.

Felipe Turetta, R&D Engineer for Autonomous Systems at Embraer, said:

“The objective of these tests that we are carrying out is to exercise the perception system, which is composed of seven cameras with the aim of obtaining information about the environment of the aircraft, and this information will be fed into algorithms. of AI that will translate them into meaningful information that can be used to make in-flight decisions.

Embraer is testing the technology to develop eVTOL aircraft. Photo: Embraer.

Embraer will not start autonomous flights without pilots

The Brazilian manufacturer wants to put the first eVTOL aircraft into service in the coming years. For example, he wants to bring flying taxis to Australia by 2026. Nevertheless, Embraer (and all eVTOL-related companies) have to go through a very long certification process before that happens.

That’s why experiences like this are important. Julio Bolzani, Head of Autonomous Systems at Embraer, said:

“This project allowed us to evaluate technologies in real time and also to collect a lot of data which will then be used in simulations. It is important to note that we are not going directly to fully autonomous operations. At the start of Eve operations, pilots will be on board and will also benefit from the application of these technologies through safer and simplified vehicle operation until we achieve a fully certified autonomous flight system for mobility. urban aerial.

Embraer used helicopters for the test. Photo: Embraer.

EVE Order Book

Currently, EVE has an order pipeline valued at over US$5.0 billion. The company has received more than 1,700 vehicle orders from nearly 20 launch customers around the world.

Discover more aviation news here.

Francisco Gomes Neto, President and CEO of Embraer, said the company is convinced that the urban air mobility market has enormous potential for expansion in the coming years, based on a proposal from efficient and zero-emission transportation and an effective business proposition.

When do you expect to see eVTOL aircraft in the sky? Let us know in the comments below.


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