Joby Aviation is to work with SK Telecom to introduce emissions-free aerial ridesharing services to cities and communities across South Korea.
Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt and SKT CEO Ryu Young-sang have signed a strategic collaboration agreement at Joby's manufacturing facility in Marina, California that will see the two companies support the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport's K-UAM (Korean Urban Air Mobility) Roadmap, announced in 2020.
With a maximum range of 150 miles, a top speed of 200 mph and a low noise profile that will allow it to access built-up areas, Joby's piloted five seat eVTOL aircraft is designed to make convenient, emissions-free air travel an everyday reality.
SKT will leverage its connected intelligence expertise in telecommunications, autonomous driving, precise positioning and security. As a member of the UAM Team Korea, the company is also working with other major Korean companies to enhance the nation's competitiveness in the field.
Joby and SKT will use SKT's Map mobility platform and UT ride hailing service to provide multi-modal gound and air journeys to customers. UT was established as a joint venture between SKT and Uber in 2021, bringing together SKT's Map platform and Uber's ride sharing technology. Joby and Uber have been collaborating since 2019.
“By joining forces with Joby, a global leader in this field, we expect to accelerate our journey towards the era of urban air mobility and lead the way in introducing this exciting new technology,” says Young-Sang. “Collaborating with leading global companies is essential to securing leadership in future industries, which we are confident will be driven by the growth of UAM, autonomous driving and robots.”
Joby has spent more than a decade developing the technology behind its aircraft, completing more than 1,000 test flights and becoming the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) Certification Basis for their aircraft with the FAA. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the team at SKT who bring a wealth of relevant experience and technology to the table," says Bevirt. “With more than 42 million people living in urban areas, South Korea offers a remarkable opportunity for Joby to make air travel a part of daily life, helping people to save time while reducing their carbon footprint.”
While Joby's aerial ridesharing service will be operated directly by the company and offered to passengers via the Joby app or the Uber app in core US markets, it is also partnering with local companies to launch its service in select markets outside the US.