With Joby Aviation one year away from what it hopes to receive type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for its eVTOL aircraft, the California-based company has announced another partnership to expand its aerial ridesharing service outside the U.S.
Joby announced yesterday that it is partnering with Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) to bring its air taxis to Japan. The company is also working with automaker Toyota, which is Joby’s largest outside investor with nearly $400 million invested to date, to integrate the air taxi service with ground transportation.
All three partners are members of Japan’s Public-Private Conference for the Future Air Mobility Revolution, established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investment and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to accelerate aerial ridesharing in the country.
Japan had previously set the 2025 World Expo in Osaka as its goal for launching air taxi services — eVTOL developers EHang, SkyDrive, and Volocopter have already announced their intentions to launch ridesharing services in time for the Expo.
According to a press release, Joby and ANA Holdings’ partnership includes developing infrastructure, pilot training, flight operations, and air traffic management, as well as working through public acceptance and regulatory requirements.
Joby’s five-seat aircraft is targeting a maximum range of 150 miles (241 kilometers), and top speeds of 200 mph (321 km/h). The company said its eVTOL can trim the 31-mile (50-kilometer) commute from Osaka Station to Kansai International Airport from one hour by car to less than 15 minutes by air taxi.
In addition to the planned air taxi service in Japan, earlier this month, Joby announced a partnership with SK Telecom to launch aerial ridesharing in South Korea. The eVTOL developer previously stated its intention to operate its own air taxi service in the U.S., using its Joby app or the Uber app.