Toyota is exploring a new flight path for mobility through a new collaboration with Joby Aviation (Joby), an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric air taxis.
The California-based aerospace company that has been working on electric aircraft for over a decade.
The collaboration reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility.
Toyota was part of a previous Joby funding round that closed in 2018, helping the secretive startup raise $100 million.
As the lead investor in Joby’s $590 million Series C financing, Toyota is continuing to leverage emerging technologies to provide “Mobility for All”, the company said.
In addition to investing $394 million in Joby, Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s breakthrough eVTOL aircraft.
Joby Aviation’s mission is to bring fast, affordable, and zero-emissions air mobility to communities worldwide. Over the past 10 years, the Company’s team of engineers and physicists has developed a quiet, all-electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, which will be instrumental in the commercial launch of the emerging on-demand urban air taxi market.
Joby’s design is well matched to serve the needs of an emerging air transportation market where commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers.
“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 Motor Corporation 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 revolutionize future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavor, 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 takeoff and landing and highly efficient, wingborne 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 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead. The passenger experience is optimized for comfortable ride-sharing operations and efficient entry and exit.
“This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us, and for this new industry, from one of the world’s leading automakers,” Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said.
“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 to drive us toward our dream of helping a billion people save an hour+ commuting time every day.”
Founded in 2009, Joby pioneered the development of eVTOL aircraft and has offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, and Marina, CA.
The company’s mission is to get people to their destination five times faster than driving, reduce urban congestion, and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit.