Joby Aviation Moving Toward Flying Car Certification

Joby Aviation Moving Toward Flying Car Certification

The concept of flying taxis moved another step toward reality when Joby Aviation, supported by Toyota Motor Corp., applied to Japan’s transport ministry for aircraft certification for its all-electric vehicle.

Joby officials expect to have the company’s all-electric aircraft FAA approved in 2024.

The company’s already received approval in the U.S. from the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, to establish a commercial air-taxi business but using conventional aircraft not the all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft it plans to produce.

Joby’s push on multiple fronts has resulted in a new level of cooperation between the air authorities in Japan and the U.S. The application to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau for the validation of an FAA “type certification” is believed to be the first of its type, the company noted. 

The cooperation — and approval — is a necessary step to launching aerial ridesharing services in Japan. Joby plans to use its five-seat, piloted eVTOL aircraft to connect people and cities through fast, quiet, and emissions-free flight.

Getting approval in Japan is important as Toyota’s invested nearly $400 million in the nascent electric mobility company thus far. Toyota’s worked with other companies on the concept as well, and they’re not alone as other automakers, such as General Motors and Hyundai, have also offered concepts and investment into eVTOLs.

Big plans, big goals

Joby secured approval for its air taxi service from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.

Joby’s end goal is to start flying its eVTOL for personal use and air taxis by 2024. The company applied for its Part 135 certification earlier this year and even thought it got approval for small aircraft, it’s a critical milestone, officials noted at the time.

“The procedures we’ve prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations,” said Bonny Simi, head of Air Operations and People at Joby, in May. However, the company still has more regulatory approvals to secure, specifically for the eVTOL.

“Over the coming months, we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multi-modal ridesharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers. Receiving this certificate ahead of schedule is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team.” 

Once Joby receives a type certificate for its eVTOL aircraft, the company will complete the FAA review process to add the new aircraft type to its existing air carrier certificate. Pilots for the company’s future aerial ridesharing service will have the benefit of flying an environmentally friendly aircraft on a reliable work schedule, ending each shift in their home city, the company noted.

Delta and Joby agree to deal 2022
JoeBen Bevirt, Joby’s CEO, left, shakes hands with Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian.

Creating a network

Admittedly, creating an all-electric aircraft for personal use in urban and suburban areas is no easy feat, Joby’s looking beyond the eVTOL to how will it be used? What are the best scenarios for this kind of vehicle and how can it get involved, potentially securing more investment and future revenue streams.

Last week, Joby inked a deal with Delta for an upfront equity investment of $60 million in Joby. The number could grow to as much as $200 million if Joby hits certain targets. Once operational, Joby would work in concert with the airline, offering the first eVTOL service to market, targeting New York and Los Angeles.

“The partnership will deliver a premium, differentiated service for Delta customers alongside Joby’s standard airport service,” Joby officials noted.

Delta customers would enjoy seamless booking, simplified transit and greater time savings, the airline claims, and the services would operate in tandem with Joby’s standard airport service in “priority” markets. The partnership will be mutually exclusive across the U.S. and U.K. for five years following commercial launch, with the potential to extend that period. 

Volvo EX90’s interior is made of recycled and organic materials Previous post Volvo EX90’s interior is made of recycled and organic materials
Opinion: Cadillac is Making a Mistake With the Ultra Luxurious 2024 CELESTIQ, a 0,000-plus Liftback Next post Opinion: Cadillac is Making a Mistake With the Ultra Luxurious 2024 CELESTIQ, a $300,000-plus Liftback