South Korean mobility platform TMAP has agreed to join Joby Aviation’s partnership with SK Telecom to bring aerial ridesharing service to the country. Claiming to be Korea’s largest mobility platform for ground transportation, TMAP says it holds an unprecedented amount of transportation and mapping data gathered over the last 20 years. This data will inform the partners’ plans for optimal air taxi routes, infrastructure networks, and an overall mobility service that suits the preferences of Korean consumers.
TMAP also jointly owns on-demand ride-hailing app UT along with Uber designed to allow the integration of ground and air travel. Together with SK Telecom, TMAP and Joby plan to work together to integrate emissions-free aerial ridesharing into TMAP’s transportation services. In December 2020, Joby agreed to acquire Uber's planned Elevate booking platform that it had been working on for the eVTOL air taxi market.
“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, head 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 and SKT previously announced an agreement to collaborate on emissions-free aerial ridesharing to Korean cities and communities in support of the “K-UAM” (Korean Urban Air Mobility) roadmap laid out by the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
“By cooperating with Joby, TMAP will become a platform operator that can offer a seamless transportation service between the ground and the sky,” commented TMAP Mobility CEO Lee Jong Ho.
While Joby plans to directly operate its aerial ridesharing service and offer it to passengers via the Joby app or Uber app in core U.S. markets, the latest announcement reflects Joby’s strategy to partner with local companies to launch its service in select international markets.
Joby intends to start commercial operations with its unnamed four-passenger eVTOL aircraft in 2024. Its piloted eVTOL aircraft flies to a maximum range of 150 miles and a top speed of 200 mph.
TMAP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SK Square, a separate publicly-traded company that forms part of the SK Group.