Toyota Invests $349 Million in Flying Taxi Startup

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This story initially appeared on Endgadget

Toyota just invested $349 million in the flying taxi startup Joby Aviation. The two firms say they will function with each other, Joby sharing its all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) experience and Toyota lending its know-how of manufacturing, excellent and price controls to the improvement and production of Joby’s future aircraft.

“Air transportation has been a lengthy-term aim for Toyota, and although we continue our function in the automobile enterprise, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda stated in a press release. As portion of the deal, Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby’s board of directors.

Toyota’s investment was portion of a Series C financing round, in which Joby raised $590 million. Previous investors have integrated Intel Capital, JetBlue Technologies Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures.

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Toyota is not the only automaker eyeing the skies. Hyundai is functioning on a flying taxi idea with Uber and has hired a NASA engineer to run its “flying auto” division. Geely (the Chinese automotive group which manufactures Volvo and Lotus vehicles) and Daimler have both invested in Volocopter, and Rolls-Royce has its own eVTOL idea.

Joby’s aircraft is a piloted, 5-seat eVTOL, with a max speed of 200 miles per hour and a variety of more than 150 miles on a single charge. According to the firm, it is 100 occasions quieter than traditional aircraft throughout takeoff and landing and “close to-silent” when flying overhead. Added particulars about the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced later, Joby and Toyota stated right now.