SK Telecom, South Korea’s leading mobile carrier, has partnered with Joby Aviation, a California-based aerospace company developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The two parties will collaborate on urban air mobility, which is an ecosystem that includes personal air vehicles and infrastructure such as a new navigation system, take-off and landing fields, and charging technologies.
Joby’s experience showcasing eVTOL will be included into SKT’s information and communication technology infrastructure under a strategic partnership agreement. The two businesses will collaborate in all areas, including aircraft and mobility as a service, to provide emissions-free aerial ridesharing to cities and communities around South Korea. SKT and Joby plan to enable multi-modal travel using SKT’s T Map mobility platform and UT’s ride-hailing service.
SKT aspires to become a connected intelligence leader that logically links physical elements such as UAM airplanes, vertiports and ground transportation by utilizing its capabilities in telecommunications, autonomous driving, precise location and security.
Furthermore, the project will be backed by the Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Roadmap of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which aims to commercialize limited UAM services by 2025 in order to decrease traffic congestion in key cities. SK Telecom (SKT), a member of UAM Team Korea, is building a mobile communication network for air taxis. By the end of the decade, the aim is to have up to ten air taxi stations in the Seoul metropolitan region, all of which will be connected to local buses, subways, and other modes of transportation.
SKT CEO Ryu Young-sang commented: “By joining forces with Joby, a global leader in this field, we expect to accelerate our journey towards the era of Urban Air Mobility and lead the way on introducing this exciting new technology.”
“With more than 42 million people living in urban areas, South Korea offers a remarkable opportunity for Joby to make air travel a part of daily life, helping people to save time while reducing their carbon footprint,” commented JoeBen Bevirt, CEO of Joby.