Electric VTOL (eVTOL) developer Volocopter has signed a memorandum of understanding with mobility provider Kakao Mobility to conduct a feasibility study on introducing ‘urban air mobility’ (UAM) technology to South Korea.
The study will identify potential commercial routes, operational capabilities, and business models necessary to implement a UAM taxi service provider in the country.
The findings will be published in February 2022 and are intended to support a future partnership between the two companies, which aims to commercialise the service by 2025.
The partnership will employ the Kakao T mobility as a service (MaaS) platform as part of the project. The taxi and navigation app, which currently has 30 million users, would be used to integrate the planned UAM service into Kakao’s wider transport network.
“As the largest mobility platform in South Korea, Kakao Mobility has deep insights on traffic patterns and customer needs in the Korean mobility market,” said Seungil You, Chief Technology Officer of Kakao Mobility. “Starting from the cooperation with Volocopter in the Korean market, we are looking forward to expanding our partnership across the UAM industry worldwide as well as our business as an airspace mobility platform in the future.”
The announcement follows the completion by Volocopter of two public test flights at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul.
Volocopter also previously announced in December 2020 that it was working in collaboration with the Singaporean government to launch a similar service in the city state ‘within the next three years’. The company says it expects to hire ‘over 200 full-time employees in Singapore to manage a network of Singapore routes by 2026.’
The company also demonstrated its heavy-lift logistics VoloDrone in its first public flight at the ITS World Congress in October.