Toyota is investing $ 394 million in Joby Aviation, an American start-up that wants to make flying taxis.
“Aviation is a long-term goal for Toyota,” says big boss Akio Toyoda. “This gives us the opportunity to unleash a revolution in the future lifestyles of people and their way of transport. We hope to give people the freedom of mobility and enjoyment, also in the air.”
Joby has already released a sketch of his ‘plane’. Earlier, the company made a deal with Uber to set up an aerial taxi network in at least two cities. It will probably take years before the first taxis can get up. This also requires permission from aviation authorities.
Aviation has been living with more car companies lately. Hyundai recently announced that it wants to develop flying taxis for Uber. The South Koreans have been busy for a while with a flying car, the Personal Air Vehicle. It is electrically driven and can rise and fall vertically.
“Also for goods”
Toyota believes that the device can not only be used for transporting people, but also for goods. It would be an ideal solution for the traffic and air quality in city centers, but also the transport of people in rural areas.
The combination of the flight technology of a small aircraft and a helicopter leads to zero emissions, relatively high flight speeds, and little noise pollution. Moreover, Toyota believes that the costs of use and maintenance will be limited.