SANTA CRUZ, Calif., - 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 vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to enable the deployment of fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services.
The collaboration reflects Toyota's recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to meet the evolving needs of society, as well as Joby's position as an industry leader in working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone.
"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."
As the lead investor in Joby's $590M Series C financing, Toyota is continuing to leverage emerging technologies to provide "Mobility for All." In addition to investing $394M 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'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. More details of the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced at a later date.
Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: "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. 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."
Both companies believe that leveraging synergies with automobile technologies as well as integrating best practices from the Toyota Production System will help facilitate the efficient mass production of these aircraft, while also helping Joby deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft, and meeting exacting safety standards.
Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby's board of directors and play an active role in setting strategic direction at the Board level.
About the aircraft: Joby Aviation's aircraft is designed for 4 passengers plus a pilot. It can travel more than 150 miles on a single charge, is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and is near-silent in flyover.
Aircraft type: Piloted, all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi
- Source of power: All-electric, zero emissions
- Capacity: Designed for four passengers plus a pilot
- Sound: The aircraft is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead.
Range: The aircraft is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge.
Cost: The aircraft will be operated as a service with per-trip passenger pricing. Over time, that price should approach the cost of ground transportation.
Redundancy: High levels of redundancy designed into the aircraft enhance safety and reliability.