South Korea demonstrates system for controlling urban air mobility vehicles, to be launched by 2025
Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk, who attended the demonstration on Thursday, said that UAM is expected to become one of the ordinary means of transportation that citizens use in daily life.
South Korea showed a system for managing urban air mobility vehicles on Thursday. It expects to function as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul by 2025, saving travel time by two-thirds. South Korea unveiled a plan last year to establish commercial urban air travel by 2025. According to the transport ministry, such services might reduce travel time from an hour by automobile to 20 minutes by air over 30-50km (19-31 miles).
Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk, who attended the demonstration on Thursday, said that UAM is expected to become one of the ordinary means of transportation that citizens use in daily life. A pilot-tested and demonstrated the control and coordination of a two-seat model built by Germany's Volocopter at Seoul's Gimpo Airport. The ship shown may be piloted or operated autonomously without one, and it is propelled by helicopter-like rotors for vertical take-offs and landings.
When passengers are onboard the UAMs, a pilot must crew the boat to ensure safety, according to a transport ministry official, and this will also help with public acceptability. Designers from South Korea also displayed a model of their drone aircraft. According to the transport ministry, a full-sized prototype will begin test flights to build an operational five-seat version next year.
Imaging devices to identify and monitor the aircraft and proprietary lighting systems for "vertiports" where drones land and take off were also on display at the exhibition. When commercial travels begin in 2025, a ride from Incheon International Airport to central Seoul is estimated to cost roughly 110,000 won ($93) – more expensive than luxury cabs – but will drop to around 20,000 won each trip after 2035 as the market develops, according to the ministry. According to a statement from the ministry, the test flight on Thursday proved that the air traffic control system that regulates domestic and international flights at airports could also monitor and operate UAM aircraft. "This demonstrates that traditional air traffic operations can coexist with UAM operations," according to the release.