Posted on Leave a comment

Drone taxis and deliveries: Science fiction gets closer to reality in Seoul

Spread the love

A drone taxi and a drone delivery were tested in South Korea’s capital on Wednesday as the country moves closer to launching unmanned air vehicles by 2025.

The event, near Seoul’s Han River, offered a glimpse into the future and what flying vehicles might look like in a densely populated city. is investing around 24.5 billion won ($22 million) through 2022 to develop the so-called K-Drone System.

The EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle

The EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle

The demonstration in a quiet riverside park started with the flight of several small drones, which are designed to monitor traffic conditions and alert for any potential danger. A siren rang to signal the all clear before a larger, two-seater drone, made by Chinese company Ehang, began its takeoff.

No human passengers were on board the 5.6 meter-wide drone due to safety regulations. Instead, it carried 70 kilograms of rice bags in its seats. The vehicle glided above the river for around 10 minutes at a height of about 36 meters and reaching speeds of up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) an hour.

When the Ehang 216 passenger-grade auto aerial vehicle’s electric battery is fully charged, it can fly for as long as 30 minutes, according to Bill Choi, Ehang’s Asia business head. The company’s drones are already in use in China, for deliveries, firefighting and some tourism purposes, he said.

The test of unmanned drone taxis and drone deliveries is aimed at easing urban traffic congestion in South Korea

The test of unmanned drone taxis and drone deliveries is aimed at easing urban traffic congestion in South Korea

Flying taxis and other autonomous vehicles in the skies may sound like science fiction at the moment, but one day they’re predicted to be big business. McKinsey & Co. estimates the potential market size for drones could touch $46 billion in the U.S. alone by 2026. In Japan, it could reach around $20 billion by 2025, according to a forecast by drone startup Skyrobot Inc.

estimates its own local market for aerial vehicles will be about 13 trillion won by 2040.

Wednesday’s event was part of a series of ongoing tests of unmanned drone taxis and drone deliveries aimed at easing urban traffic congestion in

Flying taxis and other autonomous vehicles in the skies may sound like science fiction at the moment, but one day they're predicted to be big business

Flying taxis and other autonomous vehicles in the skies may sound like science fiction at the moment, but one day they’re predicted to be big business

Initially, will be controlled by a human on-board pilot and will look more like small helicopters, said Seo Jeong Seok, deputy director at the newly created department overseeing drones in South Korea’s transport ministry.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor


Browse Drones for sale


Please note that Pricing and Availability on Drones or other products are not guaranteed and must be verified with retail seller at time of purchase. As an affiliate, we can earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to buyer.
Stay up-to-date with new Drone blogs and new Drones - Join our Maillist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty − 11 =