The world has long dreamed of a day when flying cars would be part of everyday life. And despite many attempts, that day never came. But we may not have to wait much longer. Advances in battery technology and electric propulsion have allowed entirely new types of aircraft to take to the skies. Startups Joby, Archer, verticalLilium and others are developing eVTOLs, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, with a vision of making air taxis a reality.
CNBC took an inside look at Joby Aviation, one of the eVTOL players with big ambitions not only to build the plane, but also to operate an Uber-like air taxi business.
“This new mode of transportation allows us to move into the third dimension and rethink the way our cities operate,” said founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt.
Founded in 2009 in Santa Cruz, California, the company has received investments from Toyota, Delta Air Lines, Uber and the Department of Defense of the United States. It raised $1.6 billion last year when it went public through a SPAC with Reinvent Technology Partners, led by Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Marc Pincus.
Joby is currently manufacturing and flight testing at its pilot facility outside of Monterey in Marina, California. In addition to developing the eVTOL, the company plans to operate an air taxi service where customers can book a ride using Joby’s app or through one of its partners, such as Delta and Uber. It had planned to launch in late 2024, but recently pushed it back to 2025, citing Federal Aviation Administration changes and internal challenges.
Watch the video to learn more.