Joby's New Collab Aims to Start an Aerial Ridesharing Service in Japan, Toyota Joins In

Joby Aviation air taxi prototype 6 photos
Photo: Joby Aviation/YouTube
Joby Aviation signs partnership with ANAJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototypeJoby Aviation eVTOL air taxi prototype
Joby Aviation is spreading its wings all over the world, signing partnerships and striving to bring its emission-free air taxis to as many locations on the globe as possible. Its recently announced agreement was signed with Japan’s largest airline and aims to establish an aerial ridesharing service in the country.
Distances that are normally covered in an hour by car would become a short, 15-minute flight with Joby’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. The partnership that can make that happen was recently signed by the California-based transportation company and ANA, with the latter being the largest airline in Japan, one that has over 70 companies under its wing.

Tantalized by the idea, Toyota seems to have also joined the partnership, with “the intention of exploring opportunities such as integration with ground-based transportation,” as reported by Joby. The automaker is currently Joby’s largest outside investor, with approximately $400 million invested so far.

The collaboration between ANA and Joby is meant to facilitate the development of infrastructure, pilot training, flight operations, and air traffic management.

In addition to significantly reducing travel time, the aerial ridesharing service would also reduce Japan’s carbon footprint, with Tokyo alone being in the top 20 most congested cities in the world when it comes to traffic. According to data offered by The World Bank, as reported by Joby, 92 percent of Japan’s population lives in urban areas.

Boasting of being the first eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) Certification Basis for its aircraft with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), Joby is continuously working on improving its five-seat eVTOL, which is now 10 years in the making. The aircraft has a maximum range of 150 miles (241 km) and can reach a top speed of 200 mph (321 kph). Its low noise profile makes it suitable for operation in densely populated areas.

A 31-mile (50 km) journey from the Osaka station to Kansai International Airport could take just 15 minutes with Joby’s air taxi, while a car would require one hour to cover that distance. The aerial ridesharing service would be operated directly by Joby, with passengers being able to order the taxi via an app.

We have no exact timeline regarding the newly formed partnership, but Japan is making serious efforts to bring the concept of aerial ridesharing to fruition as soon as possible. Part of the reason why is the 2025 World Expo, which is going to take place in the western capital of Osaka.
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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