Joby, leading developer of electric craft for future air taxis and other urban air mobility (UAM) services, has enlarged its partnerships in South Korea to prepare for the launch of operations in coming years.
Santa Cruz, California-based Joby announced it is teaming up with TMAP, South Korea’s largest multi-modal mobility platform and provider of localization and direction services. Its co-ownership with Uber of the UT ride hailing app gives TMAP a foothold in the ordering of transport options, as well as its mapping offer. Both will be used to support Joby’s future UAM operations in South Korea – including, but not limited to air taxis – and their interfacing with other modes of conveyance.
Joby has been a partner with Uber since 2019. Their underlying logic of facilitating seamless organization of next/generation UAM travel along with ground options will be advanced by the inclusion of TMAP into their planning, as well as one once air taxi services are launched.
The same logic of widening existing alliances was at work elsewhere in the accord with TMAP.
The company is fully owned subsidiary of SK Square, a separate, publicly traded firm that’s part of the same group to which existing Joby partner SK Telecom (STK) belongs. Last February Joby revealed it had teamed up with SK Telecom to prepare for medium-haul flights between cities in South Korea to complement the shorter air taxi routes it will provide.
The enormous amount of transportation and mapping data TMAP has collected over the last 20 years is expected to optimize the group’s selection of air taxi routes, infrastructure networks, and wider UAM services to best match the preferences of South Korean customers.
“TMAP’s deep knowledge and understanding of mobility needs across Korea, along with millions of daily users across Korea, makes them a great partner and platform through which to bring our aerial ridesharing service to customers,” said Justin Lang, jead of Partnerships and Corporate Strategy at Joby. “South Korea is a remarkable opportunity for our aircraft to improve lives and save people time, and working with SKT and TMAP puts us in the best position to deliver a revolutionary service that is clean, quiet, and affordable.”
Joby’s five-seat, omissions-free electric planes will fly air taxi and other UAM routes at top speeds of 200 mph over a maximum range of 150 miles. SKT has been active in the nation’s government-orchestrated Korean Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Roadmap program, and is bringing the insight and experience gained from that process to Joby’s preparations for future services in the country.
Joby is aiming to obtain full certification and launch services the US in 2024, and around the globe after that.
Earlier this year Joby said it had finished three of the five phases required to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate. Shortly after, the company revealed it had successfully completed the FAA’s initial systems and compliance reviews for aircraft certification.