Korea Tests Drone Taxi for 1st Time in Seoul

  • english.chosun.com

    November 12, 2020 08:27

    With propellers spinning, an electric-powered pilotless drone taxi took off into the sky above Seoul for the first time for a seven-minute test flight over the Han River on Wednesday.

    The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Seoul Metropolitan Government jointly hosted an event to present the technology. But in fact the city government bought the drone from Chinese autonomous aerial vehicle maker EHang for W300 million for the event (US$1=W1,113).

    "The government is pushing to commercialize urban air mobility by 2025. We are holding this demonstration in order for citizens to actually see the development of urban air mobility," said a ministry official. The ministry noted that drone taxis could potentially reduce traffic congestion in urban areas in the near future.

    A drone taxi is being tested in Yeouido, Seoul on Wednesday.

    However, it drew some criticism for promoting the event with a drone made overseas.

    Some Korean companies including Hyundai and Hanwha Systems also showcased mock-ups of their drone taxis, but they are still in development.

    With the Chinese drone taxi it would only take 20 minutes to travel 40 km from Yeouido, western Seoul to Incheon International Airport, a journey that usually takes an hour by car. And as the technology develops, drone taxis will become more affordable.

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