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South Korea develops autonomous UAV navigation technology “to avoid hazards in sky”

By Chris Stonor

 South Korea’s Agency for R&D in defence technology has developed a technology that allows Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to autonomously avoid external threats and obstacles while flying. The technology can be used in many sectors including aerial mobility for transportation such as air passenger taxis, reports

While UAVs and smaller drones are capable of reaching their destination autonomously, it is hard for them to detect hazards such as high-rise buildings and large trees in real-time and navigate around them. The flight course has to be set on a path that does not cross any hazard or that a human operator controls a UAV remotely to avoid collisions.

The Agency for Defence Development (ADD) controlled by South Korea’s Defence Ministry says in a statement today that “through a four-year project, it has developed an autonomous navigation technology for drones. The technology allows UAVs to autonomously set an optimized and safe path to their destination. It uses a sensor to collect external information and automatically generates an algorithm for navigation.”

The statement continues, “We will continue to develop technologies such as an artificial intelligence-based technology capable of recognizing strategic situations, and an optimization technology for the simultaneous operation of multiple drones,”

Autonomous UAV technology “can also improve the survivability of military drones during missions on battlefields, adds the statement. “Its technology can be applied to the civilian sector and provides a technical basis for developing a safe operating system for UAM services.”

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is an ecosystem covering personal air vehicles (PAVs) and infrastructure such as a new navigation system, take-off and landing fields, and charging technologies. While flying cars are emerging as a future system of travel to avoid traffic jams on urban roads as the doorstep-to-doorstep average speed for cars is predicted to decrease further.

UAM Team Korea, a public-private consultative body, was launched in 2020 to commercialise drone taxis by 2025 under a government road map in which South Korea will enact a special law to introduce an ecosystem covering personal air vehicles ahead of other countries.

(News Source:

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