[Source: Kakao Mobility Corp.]
South Korea’s internet giant Kakao Corp. is joining the race at home towards urban air mobility (UAM) by teaming up with German personal aircraft designer Volocopter GmbH.
Kakao Mobility Corp., transportation platform connected to the country`s dominant chat app Kakao Talk, announced Tuesday it signed an agreement with Volocopter to collaborate on designing UAM vehicles and operating air transportation services in Korea.
Urban air mobility refers to an urban transportation system, which offers faster alternative air transportation services in green vehicles to ease traffic congestion and pollution. Many companies ranging from finished car makers to technology companies at home and abroad have unveiled their plans to develop their own UAM vehicles, such as multirotor helicopters and vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles powered by hydrogen or other environmentally friendly energy sources, plus related infrastructure.
The company is readying for UAM demand that is expected to expand rapidly starting 2025, projected Yoo Seung-il, Kakao Mobility’s chief technology officer.
Kakao Mobility and Volocopter have been carrying out joint research on the Korean UAM market since July, examining the local land transportation infrastructure and actual traffic data. They will design a competitive UAM system, including travel routes and takeoff-and-landing ports.
The two partners will complete their study by the end of this month and conduct data analysis until February next year. Then, they will begin designing a UAM system unique to Korea and prepare for commercial service.
Kakao Mobility aims to offer the UAM service via its mobile app, which currently offers taxi-hailing to delivery hiring and parking spot reservation services.
By Oh Dae-seok and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]