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Incheon Airport teams up with Hyundai Motor, KT for flying cars

From left: Jeon Hong-beom, KT’s head of AI, Shin Jai-won, Hyundai Motor’s UAM business head, Baek Jeong-sun, IIAC’s passenger services division vice president, and Seo Kyung-seok, Hyundai E&C’s communication vice president, pose during a signing ceremony for an agreement on K-UAM at IIAC’s head office in Incheon on Friday. (IIAC)
From left: Jeon Hong-beom, KT’s head of AI, Shin Jai-won, Hyundai Motor’s UAM business head, Baek Jeong-sun, IIAC’s passenger services division vice president, and Seo Kyung-seok, Hyundai E&C’s communication vice president, pose during a signing ceremony for an agreement on K-UAM at IIAC’s head office in Incheon on Friday. (IIAC)
Incheon International Airport Corporation said on Sunday it had signed an agreement with Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Engineering & Construction and KT as part of efforts to move the Urban Air Mobility project forward, also known as “flying cars.”

Under a memorandum signed by IIAC and UAM Team Korea on Friday, the companies will work together on a road map for “K-UAM,” a government-led project for next-generation vehicles, by building transport infrastructure and taking part in global tech challenges.

The South Korean government plans to commercialize drone taxis that can travel between Incheon Airport and the financial district of Yeouido in Seoul in 20 minutes by 2025.

The Transport Ministry predicts the market is on course to hit 13 trillion won at home and 731 trillion internationally in 2040.

As part of the initiative, IIAC said it will conduct research on operating flying vehicles as airport shuttles and build infrastructure for unmanned air traffic management also known as UTM.

Hyundai Motor, which unveiled its vision for smart mobility at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, and its plans to build UAM stations in the UK earlier this year, is in charge of developing the air vehicles and supporting test flights.

Hyundai E&C has taken on the role of building infrastructure for a vertiport, an airport designed for vertical take-off and landing, while KT will establish UAM communication infrastructure.

“Through this MOU, we laid a stepping stone in leading the UAM race, which is the government’s key task. Based on the active cooperation system with the relevant groups going forward, International Airport Corporation will accelerate efforts to successfully complete the K-UAM project,” said Baek Jeong-Sun, vice president of the airport’s passenger services division.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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