Flying cars have been a pipe dream since the turn of the century. Even cartoons like the Jetsons showed off the idea of a future with these flying vehicles, providing seamless, not to mention unimpeded, transportation from one place to another.
It looks like automakers want a piece of what could possibly be the next big market. Now Toyota, wants an early piece of that pie. The Japanese brand plans to make an electric “flying car.” Having a flying car solves the problem of both traffic and congestion. Instead of all piling up on the ground, flying vehicles can take to the skies and layer themselves to maximize space.
Toyota has been exploring a new flight path (pun intended) for mobility through a new collaboration with Joby Aviation. Joby is an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Being powered by electricity and having (VTOL) capabilities lets the vehicle move quietly and be deployed quickly.
The partnership reflects the Japanese automaker’s recognition for the long term potential of the urban air mobility market. It also aims to meet the needs of an ever-evolving market. Joby’s position as an industry leader is also advantageous as the brand is working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone.
Toyoda continues by saying that together with Joby, they will tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life. Toyoda hopes that the partnership can deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now in the sky.
As the lead investor in Joby’s $590M Series C financing, Toyota is continuing to leverage emerging technologies to provide “Mobility for all.” In addition to investing $394-million in Joby, the Japanese brand will also share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls for the eVTOL aircraft. Joby will design the aircraft to meet the needs of the emerging air transportation market. The new market is said to let commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis.
As of now, a prototype is in the works and nothing concrete yet has been verified. Toyota says that more details about the prototype will be released at a later date. For now, it looks like it will be a race to see who will first reach the sky first. To recall, Hyundai drew first blood and exhibited the Hyundai “flying car” concept in partnership with Uber. The concept was unveiled at CES 2020.