Toyota has just announced a $394-million investment in California-based aerospace company Joby Aviation. And while the company makes no mention of ‘flying cars’ or anything of the sort, it does say it intends to share its manufacturing prowess and technologies to develop Joby’s all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft—a new form of air transport that combines elements of helicopters and small airplanes best-suited for urban commuting.
“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,” Toyota big boss Akio Toyoda says in a statement announcing the partnership.
“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.”
The carmaker added that through integrating Toyota’s best practices and tech in the development and mass production of the eVTOL,Joby “can deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft.”
“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,” Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt says.
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