Toyota is investing $394 million to finance Joby Aviation’s all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Toyota will also share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to develop and produce Joby’s air vehicle.
“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,” says Toyota Motor Corp. President and CEO Akio Toyoda.
Joby Aviation Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt says, “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. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess.”
Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby’s board of directors to play an active role in setting strategic direction. https://global.toyota; https://www.jobyaviation.com
Hyundai, Uber partner to develop air taxis
Hyundai Motor Co. and Uber officials are partnering to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride-share network. The first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, Hyundai brings large-scale manufacturing capability and experience mass-producing electric vehicles (EVs).
In the partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles, and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial ride-share network. Both parties are collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for the new class of vehicles.
Jaiwon Shin, executive vice president and head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division, says, “We expect UAM to vitalize urban communities and provide more quality time to people. We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible.”
Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, says, “We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry, producing high quality, reliable aircraft at high volumes to drive down passenger costs per trip.”
Hyundai is working with Uber Elevate to develop a personal air vehicle (PAV), S-A1, designed for cruising speeds up to 180mph (290km/hr), cruising altitudes of 1,000ft-to-2,000ft (300m-to-600m) above ground, to fly up to 60 miles (100km). https://www.hyundai.com/worldwide/en; https://www.uber.com/us/en/elevate/
ASX, Spirit AeroSystems to develop eVTOL aircraft
Aviation technology start-up Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX) and global aircraft design and manufacturing company Spirit AeroSystems are cooperating to create affordable, certified, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
The program aims to converge automotive mass production techniques with the reliability of commercial-grade aerospace.
Jon Rimanelli, ASX CEO and co-founder, says Spirit brings design and manufacturing expertise to the partnership and deep knowledge in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft certification. “Our partnership with Spirit aims to deliver simple, safe, and robust eVTOL aircraft that are accessible to the mass traveling public.”
Keith Hamilton, Spirit’s executive director, programs and business development, says, “This collaboration gives Spirit the opportunity to bring our world-class capabilities to this important future market for logistics and personal transportation.” https://www.iflyasx.com; https://www.spiritaero.comv