Droning On: Toyota and Joby Aviation Taking eVTOL to Next Level
Toyota to share expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation's breakthrough eVTOL aircraft
by Lark Gould
Toyota is getting into the personal flight mobility business with a new collaboration with Joby Aviation. The new aerospace company partner 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 – an emerging industry that is expected to reach $817.50 million by 2021, and $6.63 billion, globally, by 2030 according to Allied Market Research.
The collaboration reflects Toyota's recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to meet the evolving needs of society.
"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 a developing air transportation market where commuters and travelers gain the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers.
Toyota is embracing emerging technologies as it transforms into a mobility company that is better equipped to meet the unique mobility needs of individuals everywhere. The new collaboration with Joby Aviation is anticipated to help bring urban on-demand air transportation into the mainstream and initiate a new category of moving people and goods.
It is anticipated that eVTOLs will help to create new mobility services with the potential to help alleviate persistent mobility challenges: traffic congestion in urban areas, increased environmental burden and the lack of transportation in underpopulated areas, among others.
Other leading players in this market include:
• Airbus S.A.S. • Beechcraft Corporation (subsidiary of Textron Aviation) • Boeing • Dassault Systèmes • Embraer • EHANG • Hyundai • Lilium • Volocopter GmbH • Uber Technologies