Home Artificial Intelligence SKT invests $100 million in US Joby…”Creates a super-gap within the UAM field”

SKT invests $100 million in US Joby…”Creates a super-gap within the UAM field”

SKT invests $100 million in US Joby…”Creates a super-gap within the UAM field”

SK Telecom CEO Yoo Young-sang (left) shakes hands with Joben Vibert, CEO of Joby Aviation, after signing a $100 million investment contract. (Photo = SKT)

SK Telecom (CEO Yoo Young-sang) announced on the twenty ninth that it will invest $100 million (about 130 billion won) in Joby Aviation, a world urban air transportation (UAM) aircraft manufacturer, and the 2 firms would solidify their UAM business cooperation.

It’s explained that the 2 firms have gone one step farther from signing a strategic business agreement for UAM business cooperation in February of last yr to equity investment. With this investment, SKT plans to secure an roughly 2% stake (acquisition of recent shares). SKT said that by investing in Joby, a world leader within the UAM airframe field, it was in a position to secure a number one position in promoting domestic UAM business.

Jobi, invested by SKT, is evaluated as having advanced technology in the sector of vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) development used for UAM. The S4 aircraft developed by Joby holds the industry’s highest speed (322 km/h) and flight distance (241 km) records. As well as, it was the primary to receive G-1 certification, a business flight permit from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is usually in technical cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and has also signed a UAM gas service contract with the US Air Force.

Through this equity investment, SKT has been in a position to use the Jobi aircraft exclusively in Korea. Accordingly, along with using the Jobi aircraft for the ‘Korean Urban Air Traffic Demonstration Project (K-UAM Grand Challenge)’ currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the project might be promoted with Jobi aircraft even after the domestic UAM commercialization expected in 2025. done.

The 2 firms also agreed on R&D cooperation within the UAM field and business cooperation to create a domestic UAM ecosystem. In other words, it was decided to strengthen technical cooperation, comparable to UAM aircraft operation, maintenance-related technologies, and sharing of technical know-how amassed through domestic demonstration projects, and actively cooperate with various domestic mobility firms.

They agreed to cooperate not only in domestic business but additionally in the sector of overseas business in the long run. Based on the outcomes of cooperation in Korea, it was also decided to think about joint advancement into overseas markets in the long run.

As well as, it was decided to operate a daily meeting attended by CEOs and key executives of every company. C-level executives will attend every month to debate business cooperation, and the CEOs of each firms will attend quarterly to examine the business status and make major decisions.

UAM is a field during which cutting-edge ICT technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), are concentrated, and is a business actively pursued by SKT, which is transforming into an AI company. AI technology is anticipated to be utilized in areas comparable to UAM’s business network communication, traffic control, and linkage with ground transportation, and SKT plans to make use of AI technology currently being internalized to popularize UAM services and construct an ecosystem in the long run.

As well as, SKT plans to create a ‘mobility revolution’ that expands time and space through UAM, while SKT has previously provided customers with the worth of connection that transcends physical distance through telecommunication infrastructure. In other words, it’s a vision to leap right into a mobility frontier that goes beyond mobile operators and pioneers the sky.

Yoo Young-sang, CEO of SKT, is boarding Joby's UAM aircraft.  (Photo = SKT)
Yoo Young-sang, CEO of SKT, is boarding Joby’s UAM aircraft. (Photo = SKT)

Currently, UAM is a latest transportation system that may solve traffic congestion and carbon emission problems, and major countries all over the world, comparable to the US, UK, France, and Japan, are promoting commercialization. In Korea, under the supervision of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the first stage demonstration project shall be promoted in Goheung, Jeollanam-do from August this yr to December next yr, and the 2nd stage demonstration project shall be accomplished within the metropolitan area from July 2024 to June 2025, then UAM shall be commercialized in 2025 plan to do it.

Yoo Young-sang, CEO of SKT, said, “Based on cooperation with Jobi, we are going to do our greatest to advertise and commercialize the UAM demonstration project by introducing the world’s best UAM aircraft to Korea.” It’s going to contribute to Korea’s breakthrough as a mobility powerhouse by rapidly increasing its technological power.”

Joven Vibert, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said, “Jovi’s cooperation with SKT will enable it to secure the very best business position within the Korean UAM market, which the federal government is actively promoting commercialization of.” We expect that the 2 firms will actively cooperate to attain this.”

Reporter Juyoung Lee juyoung09@aitimes.com


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