[Pangyo Tech] Kakao Mobility to enter air transportation business… and form a consortium to develop UAM

Kakao Mobility has launched a consortium to commercialize “K-UAM” with companies in each field of urban air mobility (UAM).

Kakao Mobility announced on the 11th that it has launched a consortium with five companies, including Vertical Aerospace, GS Caltex, and Pablo Air, and signed a business agreement to participate in the demonstration project of “the Korean version of Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge (K-UAM GC).”

“K-UAM GC” is an empirical project organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to promote the domestic UAM business and establish a public-private cooperation system. With the aim of commercializing UAM in Korea by 2025, safety and traffic management function tests of aircrafts will be integrated, and the first project to verify operating infrastructure and communications relay platforms will be implemented after selecting participants and open-air flight demonstrations by 2024.

According to the agreement, each company will cooperate in various fields such as establishing the Korean version of UAM standards, performing individual demonstrations to accelerate service commercialization, and jointly seeking additional business opportunities related to the UAM industry in the future.

First of all, each company will share roles based on their expertise such as technologies and know-how gained in various industries including aircraft, telecommunications, operation, and infrastructure networks to jointly carry out the first project of “K-UAM GC.” This is to establish a safer foundation for commercialization of services by organically cooperating with each company to secure reliable services.

Kakao Mobility presents a multimodal mobility vision that encompasses the ground and the sky in consideration of not only people but also objects, based on know-how in operating Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app “Kakao T.”

In order to support users’ seamless movement, it plans to calculate the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) of ground traffic such as self-driving cars based on data analysis and establish a vertical take-off and landing facility (vertiport) solution that implements automatic check-in and security search functions through stable connection between the operation and traffic control system and platform.

That way, it will lay the foundation for UAM services optimized for South Korea by proposing Vertiport which is suitable for different environments for each type of UAM aircraft and platform location.

Britain’s Vertical Aerospace is going to manufacture UAM aircrafts to be used in the consortium. LG Uplus provides traffic management systems and telecommunications services for stable operation of UAM, and Jeju Air is in charge of safe and reliable flight services. GS Caltex plans to establish UAM Vertiport by utilizing gas station networks distributed across the country, including downtown, while Pablo Air plans to establish an integrated UAM operation control system.

Kakao Mobility Chief Technology Officer (CTO) You Seungil said, “Kakao Mobility’s know-how and data in operating the MaaS platform are key to securing service accessibility for the most important users when commercializing UAM. As we are in cooperation with players in all fields of UAM, we will make efforts to introduce a complete service model and accelerate the commercialization of UAM in South Korea.”

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom

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