Toyota takes to the skies: we form an alliance

Joby Aviation
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In an exhilarating display of innovation and enterprise, automotive giant Toyota and California’s Joby Aviation are embarking on a groundbreaking venture that boldly propels us into the future. Striving to materialize the fantastical realm of science fiction into reality, these two powerhouses are teaming up to sculpt the blueprint for the next generation of transportation—flying cars.

Joby Aviation
Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation, once a humble start-up, emerged onto the scene in the mid-2010s. By 2018, the trailblazing company managed to secure a hefty investment of $100 million, with a significant portion contributed by none other than Toyota.

A couple of years later, the Japan-based automaker enhanced its financial commitment with an additional $394 million, consequently becoming a part-owner of Joby Aviation.

From that pivotal moment, the operations at Joby Aviation were steered by Toyota’s seasoned expertise in cost-efficiency and quality assurance. However, their alliance has since evolved, moving beyond a mere partnership to a symbiotic collaboration. In this arrangement, Toyota shoulders the responsibility of providing drivetrain components for Joby Aviation’s futuristic airborne vehicles.

From Japan to the US: Expanding Horizons

The endeavor isn’t uncharted territory for Toyota. Back in its home country, the automobile manufacturer is already involved in a similar project with SkyDrive. This collaboration was marked with a triumphant milestone in 2020 when a successful test flight was executed. A year and a half later, the groundbreaking vehicle received safety certification for series production and use.

Furthermore, Toyota’s reach in this area extends to collaborations involving cargo drones. Together with Prodrone, they have developed a joint cargo drone capable of carrying a 50-kilogram payload across distances up to 50 kilometers—an impressive feat by any measure.

These projects have the potential to revolutionize transportation, particularly in densely populated regions crippled by traffic congestion. The envisioned flying cars, while far from the transformative vehicles of popular science fiction, are compact, capable of vertical take-off and landing, and may eventually possess self-driving features—an area where Toyota’s decades-long experience becomes invaluable.

Road to Global Adoption

Despite the promising strides in Japan, Toyota’s foray into flying cars with Joby Aviation carries its own unique significance. This partnership represents an integral step towards the global acceptance and implementation of these transportation marvels.

Joby Aviation’s assembly plant in San Carlos, California, is now bustling with activity as the teams work tirelessly to develop locally launched vehicles with Toyota-produced engines.

After being designed and assembled, the prototypes undergo rigorous testing at Joby Aviation’s Marina headquarters. All of this occurs on a production line set up with the aid of Toyota, ensuring the company’s manufacturing methods are effectively incorporated.

The mutual goal is clear: Toyota and Joby Aviation aspire to expedite the mass production of these vehicles, capitalizing on Joby Aviation’s specialized skills and Toyota’s comprehensive technical background and production capacity.

As the future of transportation unfolds before us, it’s intriguing to anticipate what the successful partnership between Toyota and Joby Aviation could yield. Both companies have their sights set on getting the first prototypes safety-certified in the United States in just a few years—a testament to their unwavering commitment and shared vision.

Source: Toyota, Joby Aviation

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