We collect cookies. Read our privacy policy. Do you accept?

Sep 24, 2023

SK Telecom and Joby Aviation Sign Collaboration Agreement for K-UAM Grand Challenge

SKT and Joby Aviation entered into a collaboration agreement for their joint participation in the K-UAM Grand Challenge; The agreement confirms that Joby’s aircraft will be used to support the development of Korea’s Urban Air Mobility sector through flight testing next year; The deepened cooperation between the two companies comes following SKT’s equity in investment in Joby in June 2023.


Santa Cruz, CA, and Seoul, Korea, Sep 24, 2023 — SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM, “SKT”) today announced that it signed a collaboration agreement with Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY), a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service, to jointly participate in the K-UAM Grand Challenge.

The collaboration agreement signing ceremony took place at SKT’s Seoul headquarters on September 20, 2023.

The two companies will combine their expertise and resources to undertake flight testing that is designed to support the development of the Urban Air Mobility sector in Korea.

K-UAM Grand Challenge is a large-scale demonstration program launched by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) to test the safety and suitability of UAM in an urban environment and to support the commercialization of UAM by 2025.

SKT and Joby are part of the K-UAM Dream Team Consortium, which announced its intent to participate in the K-UAM Grand Challenge in February 2023, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MOLIT. The consortium includes a wide range of world-class partners, including Korea Airports Corporation, Hanwha Systems and T Map Mobility.

The first phase of the Grand Challenge program will take place at a national flight site in Goheung, Jeollanam-do. SKT and Joby Aviation plan to use Joby’s aircraft to conduct flight tests in various scenarios to check the integrated operation of the UAM system, and measure the aircraft’s acoustic footprint. Joby will dispatch a flight test team to Korea to support the testing.

Today’s announcement, which follows SKT’s strategic investment of USD 100 million in Joby Aviation in June 2023, secures the exclusive use of Joby’s aircraft for the Grand Challenge. With Grand Challenge test flights expected to start next year, this is a critical step for the consortium and ensures SKT is well placed to become a market-leader in this important new sector.

Joby Aviation continues to lead the way on certifying eVTOL aircraft with the FAA. It became the first eVTOL company to complete both the first and second stages of the certification process and have also completed the submission of stage three certification plans to the FAA. Joby celebrated the launch of production at its pilot production line in Marina, CA, in June and announced this week that it has selected Dayton, Ohio as the location for its first scaled manufacturing facility.

Going forward, SKT will align the UAM business with its vision of becoming an AI company and plans to accelerate AI transformation of the mobility field through UAM. AI has the potential to play a transformative role in the aviation sector, minimizing travel times and supporting autonomous flight in the future.

"This agreement marks a critical step on the road to making aerial ridesharing a daily reality in Korea. We're incredibly proud to be partnering with SK Telecom to deliver flights as part of the Grand Challenge and look forward to demonstrating our revolutionary technology. We're grateful for the continued leadership of the Korean Government as they seek to lead the way on the adoption of electric flight," said Eric Allison, Head of Product at Joby Aviation.

“Through this collaboration agreement, we will work closely with Joby Aviation to bring the world’s most sophisticated aircraft to Korea and verify our capabilities for stable and safe UAM operations,” said Ha Min-yong, Chief Development Officer of SKT. “Going forward, we will open an era of ‘AI Mobility’ by shifting the paradigm of mobility through the combination of UAM and AI.”

About Joby

Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE:JOBY) is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world. To learn more, visit www.jobyaviation.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to, statements regarding the development and performance of our aircraft, the growth of our manufacturing capabilities, our regulatory outlook, progress and timing, including our expectation to start commercial passenger service in 2025, the expected timing of type certification and our plan to begin initial service operations with the Department of Defense in 2024; our business plan, objectives, goals and market opportunity; plans for, and potential benefits of, our strategic partnerships; and our current expectations relating to our business, financial condition, results of operations, prospects, capital needs and growth of our operations, including the expected benefits of our vertically-integrated business model. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “anticipate”, “estimate”, “expect”, “project”, “plan”, “intend”, “believe”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “can have”, “likely” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future operating or financial performance or other events. All forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including: our ability to launch our aerial ridesharing service and the growth of the urban air mobility market generally; our ability to produce aircraft that meet our performance expectations in the volumes and on the timelines that we project, and our ability to launch our service; the competitive environment in which we operate; our future capital needs; our ability to adequately protect and enforce our intellectual property rights; our ability to effectively respond to evolving regulations and standards relating to our aircraft; our reliance on third-party suppliers and service partners; uncertainties related to our estimates of the size of the market for our service and future revenue opportunities; and other important factors discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on March 1, 2023, and in future filings and other reports we file with or furnish to the SEC. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates and beliefs as of the date of this presentation. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.


Joby Aviation