Joby Aviation is developing a four-passenger electric aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter, but has multiple rotors.
Joby Aviation’s four-passenger aircraft takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, then smoothly transitions to forward flight, and has an all-electric powertrain.
(Image: Joby Aviation)
Japanese car giant Toyota said it is investing nearly $400 million in a company working on commercialising electric flying cars for “fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services”. The investment in Joby Aviation comes as the automaker looks to expand into new sectors as the industry rapidly transforms, with president Akio Toyoda pledging to move the firm “from a car manufacturer to a mobility company”. “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,” Toyoda said in a statement announcing the investment. “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”.
Founded in 2009, Joby Aviation is developing a four-passenger electric aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, like a helicopter, though it has multiple rotors. The firm envisions the aircraft as a mode of commercial transport, rather than for sale to individuals, with its pilots ferrying commuters around. Toyota said it would also offer its “expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production” of Joby’s aircraft.