Seoul to start systematic work for commercial drone taxi, delivery service from 2023

2019.08.13 14:44:16 | 2019.08.13 18:01:00

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The South Korean government will embark on laying systematic foundation to commercialize air taxi and drone delivery services by 2023 by launching a special organization responsible for promoting drone-related projects.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Tuesday launched a venture organization specializing in drone development, which will be operating temporarily for two years. The team has been set up as part of the government’s policy to establish 10 venture organizations dealing with projects that are expected to promote innovation and enhance quality of lives of people in the future.

The competition to dominate the commercial drone market has been getting fierce as global companies including aircraft manufacturers such as Bell and Airbus and finished carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Toyota are rushing to invest in the drone business. The U.S. ride-hailing company Uber announced earlier that it will start test flights of its aerial taxi service next year and bring it into operation in 2023.

Drone-related investments are soaring worldwide, but no country has set up clear rules to ensure safety, manage air traffic and establish infrastructure to commercialize the unmanned aerial system. In order to preoccupy international standards, the Korean government decided to launch the special team that will devote to study drone transportation business.

The transport ministry said it aims to establish a traffic control system for drones and start trials for aerial taxi service in 2023. It will also arrange a certification system to support drone taxi research and development project conducted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

By Kim Tae-joon and Choi Mira

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