The Seoul Metropolitan Government and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport conducted a test flight of a "drone taxi" in Yeouido Hangang Park on November. 11th. The drones flew 3.6 kilometers for about seven minutes, carrying three sacks of rice instead of passengers.
South Korea has been investing on this new method of public transportation. The idea of a flying drone taxi surely is something new to think about. The South Korean government already has plans to commercialize drone taxis by the year of 2025. Although drone taxis have a shorter travel distance than passenger planes and helicopters, they are attracting attention as an innovative public transportation method that utilizes vertical take-off and landing.
In addition, drone taxis are considered as an eco-friendly way of transport because they are run by electric power. This means that it does not emit carbon.
The most obvious advantage of drone taxis would be the reduction of the travel time. If this method of air transportation successfully develops for business, it would take around twenty minutes to travel a distance that would originally take over an hour. In other words, transportation taking place in the air would successfully avoid traffic congestion that would inevitably happen on land. Considering such benefits, China has reportedly already started to use flying drone taxis for various purposes such as the transportation of goods, tourism, firefighting, and many more.
However, not all are happy about the plans to commercialize flying drone taxis. Many citizens are worried about safety issues and are not sure if they would choose to use this method of public transportation even if it were to be commercialized. A number of citizens in Jeju Island even held a protest rally against the demonstration flight of a drone taxi. They argued that the commercialization of these taxis should not take place unless every citizen has agreed to the idea. In this train of thought, it seems that there is a need for evident absence of safety issues for there to be full social acceptance of drone taxis in Korea.