S. Korea tests controlling Air Taxis

On November 11, 2021, South Korea demonstrated a system to control urban air mobility vehicles (UAM).

Key Points

  • The Urban Air Mobility Vehicles will serve as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul.
  • This project will be functional by 2025 and will cut travel time by two-thirds.
  • As per estimates of transport ministry, such services will cut travel time for distances between 30-50 km from an hour to 20 minutes by air.

Background

South Korea had announced a roadmap in 2020 to start commercial urban travel by 2025.

Significance of UAM

UAM is expected to become a common means of transportation which will be used by citizens in daily life.

About UAM

  • To demonstrate the control and coordination, pilot flew a two-seat model, which has been made by Germany’s Volocopter at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport.
  • The UAM is powered by helicopter-like rotors for vertical take-offs and landings
  • Demonstrated aircraft can be operated or piloted autonomously without one.
  • When passengers are onboard this aircraft, pilot must man the craft to ensure safety.
  • The full-sized prototype is expected to start test flights by 2022.
  • Its test flight will start with the aim of developing an operational five-seat version.

Cost of the trip

A aircraft trip from Incheon International Airport to central Seoul, will cost around 110,000 won, when its commercial journeys start in 2025. This travel cost of more expensive as compared to premium taxis. It will drop to around 20,000 won per trip after 2035 with maturing of market.

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