South Korea set for eVTOL aerial ridesharing

1 min read

Aerial ridesharing services are to be introduced in South Korea following the signing of a strategic collaboration agreement between eVTOL pioneer Joby Aviation and SK Telecom.

Aerial ridesharing
Image: Joby Aviation

The agreement will see the two companies work on introducing all-electric, five-seat eVTOL aerial ridesharing aircraft in support of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport’s K-UAM (Korean Urban Air Mobility) Roadmap.

With a maximum range of 150 miles, a top speed of 200mph, and a low noise profile that will allow it to access built-up areas, Joby's piloted aircraft is designed to make emissions-free air travel an everyday occurrence.

The partners will utilise SK’s T Map mobility platform and UT ride hailing service to provide ground and air mobility services. UT was established as a joint venture between SKT and Uber in 2021, integrating SK’s T Map platform and Uber’s ride sharing technology. Joby and Uber have been collaborating since 2019.

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In a statement, Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, said: “By joining forces with Joby, a global leader in this field, we expect to accelerate our journey towards the era of Urban Air Mobility and lead the way on introducing this exciting new technology,”

“Collaborating with leading global companies is essential to securing leadership in future industries, which we are confident will be driven by the growth of UAM, autonomous driving, and robots.”

Joby has spent over a decade developing the technology behind its  aircraft, completing over 1,000 test flights and becoming the first eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) Certification Basis for their aircraft with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said: “With more than 42 million people living in urban areas, South Korea offers a remarkable opportunity for Joby to make air travel a part of daily life, helping people to save time while reducing their carbon footprint.”