Joby Aviation raises $590 million to launch air taxi service
Posted: 16 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
Over the past 10 years, Joby Aviation has reportedly developed a quiet, all-electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, which aims to be instrumental in the commercial launch of the emerging on-demand urban air taxi market.
Joby Aviation's aircraft in Santa Cruz, CA
Joby Aviation, a California-based aerospace company, has raised $590 million in Series C funding, led by Toyota Motor Corporation, as it looks to develop an electric air taxi service. Joby Aviation aims to bring fast, affordable and zero-emissions air mobility to communities worldwide.
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, aims to accelerate the certification and deployment of this new mode of local transportation.
“We are building a new system for transportation to transform your daily life, at greater safety and, in time, at a similar cost to driving,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt. “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and this new industry from one of the world’s leading automakers. Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of their products driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess, helping to drive us to achieve our dream of saving a billion people an hour a day.”
“Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” said Toyota President and CEO, Akio Toyoda. “As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionise future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavour, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.”
Joby Aviation’s aircraft is a piloted, five-seat vehicle capable of both vertical take-off and landing and wing borne forward flight. It is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge. The aircraft is said to be 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during take-off and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead.