Toyota has invested $394 million in Joby Aviation, a move that seeks to aid in the development of electric flying taxis.
This new-found partnership will enable the two companies to design and build a fleet of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft for use in a ride-hailing service. This come in at a strategic time, just when Joby also partnered with Uber to use its air taxis on Uber’s ride-hailing network.
The Uber-Joby partnership will see to it that Joby supplies and operates the electric air taxis, while Uber provides air traffic control help, landing pad construction, connections to ground transportation, and its ride-share network reconfigured to allow customers hail flying cars.
Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support the development and production of Joby Aviation’s aircraft. This support, along with the capital investment, will accelerate the certification and deployment of this new mode of local transportation.
Statement from Joby Aviation, quoted by The Verge
Techcrunch reports that the elecrtric aircraft will have six rotors and five seats. It will also have the ability to take off vertically, and thereafter shift into forward flight using tilt rotors. Furthermore, it will be able to reach a top speed of 200 mph, and travel 150 miles on a single charge.
Toyota’s investment was part of a Series C financing round, where Joby raised $590 million.
Joby Aviation is an American venture-backed aerospace. It provides air frame design, fabrication, aerodynamic analysis and electric motor design.
Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. As of December 2019, it was the tenth-largest company in the world by revenue.