The market for air taxis is predicted to expand by 1,700 trillion by 2040, thanks to the South Korean government's start on building the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) infrastructure.
The UAM is being hailed as one of the next-generation mobility technologies that would not only alleviate traffic congestion on roadways but also increase vehicle mobility. It will be able to run on environmentally friendly energy sources such as hydrogen fuel cells and electricity. It is also believed that the technology would alleviate transportation network issues in cities with a larger population.
According to Morgan Stanley, a US investment firm, the worldwide UAM market would grow by 30% yearly between 2021 and 2040, reaching a staggering $1.5 trillion (about 1,700 trillion won) by 2040. By 2035, 50% of all drone transportation will be passenger transportation, according to Porsche Consulting.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved the 'K-UAM Grand Challenge Operation Plan,' a private-public UAM demonstration project, on December 28 last year, and decided to carry out the project to verify safety and prepare operating system and technology standards before it is commercialised. The National Comprehensive Flight Performance Test Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do, will host the first phase of the 'Grand Challenge' project next year. The test operation for the second part of the demonstration will take place on the airport-city UAM route, which is expected to be the first to be commercialised in 2025.
Hanwha System, SK Telecom, Korea Airports Corporation, and Korea Transport Institute are part of the 'K-UAM Dream Team' alliance. In addition, Hyundai Motor Group's UAM subsidiary, 'Supernal,' has formed relationships with three companies: Britain's 'Altitude Angel,' Germany's 'Sky Road,' and the United States' 'One Sky,' to work together on industry standards. Korea Airports Corporation and Hanwha System both showed off their cutting-edge technologies. For the first time in Korea, the former presented a UAM airport demonstration as well as a future vertiport employing the combined UAM-aircraft control system and business aviation terminal.