Toyota hails flying taxis plan with £300m gamble: Japanese car maker backs California-based Joby Aviation
Toyota has made a £300million bet on flying taxis.
The Japanese car maker led a £450million fundraising by California-based Joby Aviation.
Other backers included fund manager Baillie Gifford as well as Global Oryx, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Sparx Group.
Sky’s the limit: Japanese car maker Toyota led a £450m fundraising by California-based Joby Aviation
The deal makes Joby the best funded start-up in the so-called eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) industry.
Joby hopes to make electric air taxis a reality, flying passengers over gridlocked city streets to their destinations.
There is, however, widespread scepticism that flying taxis will ever be allowed to operate in big cities due to safety fears.
However, Toyota president and chief executive Akio Toyoda, said: ‘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.’
Joby Aviation founder and chief executive JoeBen Bevirt added: ‘This collaboration represents an unprecedented commitment.’