Toyota takes to the skies
It has long been a dream of Toyota to get into air transport. Earlier this month, the company took a step closer to making that a reality by sinking $394 million (€356 million) into flying taxi firm Joby Aviation.
The move makes the Japanese auto-maker the lead investor in the Santa Cruz-based start-up’s Series C Funding round. Prior investors include Baillie Gifford, Intel Capital and JetBlue Technology Ventures.
The sky’s the limit for Toyota customers
In a statement issued earlier this month, Toyota President Akio Toyoda, said: “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……..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 highly efficient. 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 take-off and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead. The passenger experience is optimized for comfortable ride-sharing operations and efficient entry and exit.