Japanese automaker Toyota announced on Thursday (16) that it will invest $ 394 million in Joby Aviation, a Californian start-up that develops an electric aircraft for mobility services "on demand" in urban areas.
Made in the context of a $ 590 million fundraising by Joby Aviation, this investment is a sign of the intensification of Toyota's efforts to become a world giant in new mobility.
- Hyundai presents flying car and announces partnership with Uber
"Air transport was a long-term goal for Toyota. Although it continues to operate in the automobile sector, this agreement turns our gaze to the sky," said the president of the Japanese manufacturer, Akio Toyoda, quoted in a statement from the group.
Founded in 2009, Joby Aviation develops a small five-seat electric plane with vertical takeoff and landing, like a helicopter. The future machine will have a range of 240 km and a top speed of 320 km / h.
Backed by several foreign investors and companies since its inception, Joby Aviation last month announced an association with American driver-driven giant Uber. The goal is to launch a flying taxi service by 2023.
In August last year, a flying car from the Japanese company NEC conducted a test flight of about a minute. Check out the video below:
Japanese flying car takes one-minute flight in test
In addition to Nec, companies like Boeing and Pal-V are working on their flying concepts. On another front, companies also develop flying motorcycles, including, even the Dubai police are using a prototype of the type.
For 2020, a Japanese company also promised to launch a flying motorcycle, the Xturismo, which has 10 propellers and hybrid engines. See the details:
Japanese promise flying bike for 2020