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Korea should preempt future mobility market

The government has released a mobility innovation roadmap that contains a mobility commercialization schedule through 2040. According to the roadmap, Korea will introduce an autonomous level 4 vehicle in 2025. The country will also begin to provide commercial urban air mobility (UAM) services that year and expand them to major regional spheres by 2030.

The roadmap comprises everything, including the domestic commercialization plan for autonomous vehicles, UAM, digital logistics, mobility services, related legislation and an institutionalization timetable. The nation's transportation policy has focused on safety and regulations so far. Policymakers have paid greater attention to avoiding risks and controlling possible errors than introducing new technologies and services.

However, the world and technology are changing rapidly. Notably, mobility, including automobiles, is emerging as the favorite of the next-generation technology industry. It is a typical example of a comprehensive futuristic industry that combines various parts and solution services, not to mention finished cars and various devices. A wide variety of related industries are also expected to appear.

It is welcome in this regard that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport preemptively presented a mid- and long-term, next-generation mobility strategy and policy directions in keeping with the trend. Such guidelines provide an essential basis for businesses to prepare for commercialization. The mobility market is a major battlefield for global tech companies. Major foreign companies are also speeding up development to introduce next-generation mobility, including autonomous vehicles. Now that Korea has set its direction, it should move ahead of competitors and take the initiative.

It would still be better for the nation to preempt the market for various mobility services, including autonomous cars and UAM, making the most of its accumulated strength in information and communication technology (ICT). All this explains why the government should not remain complacent with a one-off policy announcement. Instead, it must resolve policy uncertainty and continue to provide positive support to help Korean businesses take a leading position in global markets.

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