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  • Seoul envisioning future of flying taxis, ride-sharing as public transport

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    [Anchor] South Korea is well-known for its convenient and well-connected public transportation, but now Seoul is working to go the extra mile by adding the latest digital technologies and mobility gadgets into the mix so that all forms of transportation are linked. Oh Soo-young has more.

    [Reporter] Seoul is aiming to make public transportation smarter, more fluid and much more personal.
    The city government held a exhibition over the weekend, illustrating a future where there is “Freedom of Mobility.”
    “It’s a future where we are no longer bound by the current methods of transportation but are instead moving freely and conveniently around the city through new mobility gadgets and solutions all under one integrated system.”

    Seoul’s transport authorities are developing a system based on the concept of “Mobility as a Service,” which would allow people to transit between public bikes and car-sharing services for instance on top of the usual buses and subway rides.
    Instead of using various apps and paying for different services multiple times, your entire trip would be covered with the swipe of a card, or even facial recognition, which could become available in the near future.

    “In the past, expanding public transport meant increasing physical infrastructure. But in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, our policies are aimed to incorporate software and the internet of things to add rental scooters, bicycles and car-sharing into a city transport solution.”

    Companies like Uber are looking above ground level.
    Uber Elevate plans to launch its flying taxi service in 2023 across three U.S. cities.

    “It wouldn’t be just a flight from point A to point B but it would be a flight or a transportation journey were you take either a scooter or a bike or a car, you get to that sky port and take your flight and there’s the final destination So we’re looking at this from a holistic point of view.”

    For such revolutionary mobility services to also take off in Korea, Seoul city is working with IT firms and researchers to test new mobility devices such as driverless buses.

    “For true freedom of mobility, we need to have a diverse range of platforms that offer all sorts of software and services developed by private firms not just as a part of public transportation.”

    “With so many changes taking place globally in the mobility sector, we hope to share these trends with our citizens and pursue policies to help them enjoy these developments.”

    Mayor Park Won-soon on Friday said Seoul will aim to build a mobility ecosystem, to connect taxis, bikes and car-sharing and even aerial services through the latest digital technologies and big data.
    Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.

    Reporter : osy@arirang.com