Volocopter has joined up with a South Korean firm to explore the feasibility of urban air mobility (UAM) in South Korea, following successful flights over Seoul’s two airports.
The study, conducted with South Korean firm Kakao Mobility, will look at potential routes, operational capabilities, and business models applicable to South Korea, says Volocopter.
“Having a strong and reliable network of partners has always been a fundamental factor for our continued success,” says Volocopter chief executive Florian Reuter.
“We believe that the synergy from the cooperation with a leading local partner helps us develop a service tailored for the domestic market.”
Founded in 2015, Kakao supplies a mobile app for mobility purposes.
The announcement follows flight demonstrations by Volocopter’s 2X air taxi demonstrator over Seoul Gimpo Airport on 11 November, and Seoul Incheon Airport on 16 November.
The Seoul Incheon flight, performed before a crowd attending a UAM conference, covered 1.6nm (3km) and reached an altitude of 164ft.
Seoul aspires to see commercial air taxi services launched by 2025.
UAM has also attracted significant interest from South Korea’s aerospace sector.
In August, Korean Air, Incheon International Airport Corporation, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute entered an agreement to explore UAM management, specifically a “safe and efficient UAM transportation management system.”
At the recent Seoul ADEX defence show, Korea Aerospace Industries showed off several futuristic concepts, including a UAM aircraft with both manned and unmanned versions.
Hanwha Systems, meanwhile, has partnered with US firm Overair to develop an electric propulsion system for air taxies. According to Hanwha, the propulsion system will power a future, zero-emission air taxi named “butterfly.” The company is also involved in the development of infrastructure for UAM operations.