Toyota invests in aviation company

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Words: Nile Bijoux
17 Jan 2020

Toyota is taking more steps toward airborne personal transport by becoming the lead investor in Joby Aviation and its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Joby’s eVTOL already boasts some impressive claims, including room for four passengers plus a pilot, a top speed of 322km/h and a range of 402km between charges. And it’s said to be 100 times quieter than a conventional aircraft. These however are just on-paper specs, as the machine is yet to graduate to real-world testing.

“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’s 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 revolutionise future transportation and life.”Joby founder and CEO, JoeBen Bevirt added that the aim is to reduce urban congestion and help “a billion people save an hour-plus commuting time every day”.“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,” he said.

Joby is also working with Uber to develop and introduce flying taxis, which, in turn, is aligned with Hyundai for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, Toyota could use its recently announced Woven City as a testing platform for its eVTOL vehicles.

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