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S. Korea partners with US aircraft startup for UAM commercialization

By Yonhap

Published : May 29, 2024 - 20:39

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UAM model (Archer Aviation Inc.) UAM model (Archer Aviation Inc.)

South Korea has partnered with a US electric aircraft startup to push forward the commercialization of urban air mobility, the transport ministry said Wednesday.

Archer Aviation Inc. will join the Korean government's UAM test project dubbed "Grand Challenge" along with local companies -- Kakao Mobilty Corp., LG Uplus Corp. and GS Engineering & Construction Co., the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.

Archer Chief Commercial Officer Nikhil Goel met with Korean government officials in Sejong, 113 kilometers south of Seoul, for the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the project and discussions for UAM's commercialization, it said.

In the Grand Challenge project, the participating companies are expected to establish the transportation management system using fifth-generation wireless technology, while testing integrated operating capabilities in UAM flights, traffic management and the operation of vertiports for UAM vehicles, the statement said.

The government aims to commercialize UAM in the greater Seoul area in late 2025 and gradually expand the services across the country from 2026.

UAM is widely considered the next big thing in urban mobility amid concerns of worsening traffic congestion and air pollution. Most UAM vehicles in development are being designed to run on electricity and travel at low altitudes in urban areas. (Yonhap)