JetBlue Just Invested in a Secretive Flying Taxi Startup
JetBlue has invested an undisclosed amount of money into an aviation company working to create flying taxis.
Joby Aviation, based in northern California, is developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi, capable of lifting passengers up and above any street traffic. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, testing has already begun.
The five-seat air taxi would be able to fly up to 150 miles per single battery charge. Its cabin would carry four passengers and a pilot. It also claims to be faster and 100 times quieter during takeoff and landing than existing rotorcraft. Other details about the air taxi remain vague, as the company has been highly secretive.
Intel and Toyota have also invested in the company. With their new round of funding, Joby Aviation will hire engineers, software developers, and other specialists to bring the project to fruition. The air taxi still lacks certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Even if Joby takes a few years to develop its eVTOL air taxi, we’re likely to see air taxi technology skyrocket in the near future. There are at least 19 other companies working on a similar product, according to The Verge. The “urban air taxi” by Bell Helicopter aims to be in the skies by 2020. Airbus has a similar timeframe for its iteration and Dubai has already begun testing of its own version of a flying taxi.