SEJONG, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is scheduled to announce its “Basic Plan for Development of the Drone Industry” at Yeouido this Friday.
The basic plan lays out the government’s short-term goal of growing the burgeoning industry into a 350 billion won market in five years, and emphasizes keeping regulations to a minimum for South Korea to become a global leader in drone technology.
By 2026, the detailed long-term goals are for the drone market to eventually reach a valuation of 4.4 trillion won, for South Korea to number among the world’s top five in technology competitiveness, and for 53,000 commercial drones to be in operation.
To ensure the domestic market reaches its mark a half-decade later, the government will look to introduce a “Buy Korean” mindset by forming a private-public staffed drone industry committee that encourages the procurement of South Korean-produced drones.
In addition, the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles will encompass a wide range of sectors, from the maintenance of public infrastructure to environmental conservation and disaster relief. The expectation is that 3,700 drones will be in use in five years.
The most ambitious point of the government’s plan may be a support system for future drones dubbed “K-Drone”.
Incorporating a host of cutting edge, “Fourth Industrial Revolution” technologies, K-Drone will be designed with the purpose of becoming a benchmark in drone technology, and will subsequently be introduced into foreign markets once completed.
With K-Drone, drones will be able to transmit the location, altitude and heading of other UAVs in their vicinity as well as data on weather conditions and general information to their pilots. Among the systems next generation capabilities will be autonomous flight guided by integrated artificial intelligence.
Additional features of the K-Drone system include the detection of unidentified flying objects, communication with air traffic control and the transmission of data regarding current air traffic.
For high-speed and long-distance travel drones, an aerial “drone highway” will be created with support hubs established at select locations ideal for use as control centers.
The formation of a drone-specific insurance policy and safety guidelines that delineate the responsibilities of pilots are also part of the government agenda.