We recently reported that Hyundai will be making their own flying cars for Uber’s air taxi service. Now, it seems as though Toyota is ready to make a dent in the ever-growing flying car market with the announcement that they have invested an astonishing R5,668,680,000 ($394 million) in California-based start-up, Joby Aviation.
According to an unnamed source familiar with the deal, the funding from Toyota along with previous investments from the likes of Intel and JetBlue now brings the total investment to R10,359,000,000 ($720 Million), making it one of the most well-funded air taxi companies.
— Toyota USA (@Toyota) January 15, 2020
“The 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,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Joby’s chief executive.
Founded in 2009, Joby said their electric aircraft will be able to seat a total of four passengers. It will take off and land vertically in the same fashion as the Osprey planes used by the military, and it will be able to fly at speeds of 321 km for a maximum range of 241 km.
According to Joby, they already have a multiyear agreement in place with Uber providing “airspace management, Skyport infrastructure and customer interfaces”. Joby aims to launch its flying taxi service in early 2023 following approval from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).