Kakao Mobility, 5 others, to participate in flying-taxi contest
Kakao Mobility is working with five other companies to participate in a flying-taxi contest run by the government.
It is being joined by Bristol, Britain's Vertical Aerospace, LG U+, Jeju Air, GS Caltex and Pablo Air to submit a proposal to the K-UAM Grand Challenge, which is organized by the Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport.
The goal is to have a flying taxi operating on a commercial basis by 2025.
Announced in February, the challenge will lead to demonstration flights in 2023 and 2024. Initial proposals are due by May 31.
Kakao Mobility, which is 57.55-percent owned by Kakao, says that no funding or other investment is being made at this point in the project.
The six companies held a signing ceremony at LG Science Park in Gangseo District, Tuesday. They have agreed to work together to develop the industry standard for urban air mobility (UAM) and create business opportunities, Kakao Mobility said.
Kakao Mobility, which runs the Kakao T taxi-hailing app, will develop mobility service software for flying taxis. The system will connect UAMs to the existing transportation network and provide automated check-in and security checking services, the company said.
New York Stock Exchange-listed Vertical Aerospace, an aircraft manufacturer, will supply the UAM vehicles for the project. Vertical Aerospace's VX4, a vertical take-off and landing aircraft designed for four passengers and a pilot, is to be flight tested this summer.
LG U+ will develop a traffic management system and communication service for flying taxis. Jeju Air is tasked with project operations.
GS Caltex will utilize its gas stations to build platforms where UAM vehicles can take off and land. Pablo Air, an Incheon-based drone delivery company, will establish a UAM operation control system based on its experience in developing real-time mobility network management systems that control unmanned mobility devices.
BY SHIN HA-NEE [email@example.com]