Are Flying Taxis Coming to a Sky Near You?

By: James Flippin · July 07, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Propelling Progress

Sky’s the limit…or is it?

Joby Aviation (JOBY) has been cleared for takeoff toward a new reality for the transportation industry. The FAA has given the green light for the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company to test its flying taxi prototype.

This marks a significant milestone in the journey to make airborne commuting a commercial possibility by 2025. And it isn’t a mere trial balloon. Joby’s first production-line prototype will be thoroughly tested under a $131 million Department of Defense contract.

Aiming for Altitude

Turning science fiction into reality is not a solo flight, which is why Joby is teaming up with industry heavyweights to achieve its lofty goal.

The company’s roadmap includes delivering two aircraft to California’s Edwards Air Force Base in 2024. By the following year, it aims to provide commercial passenger services.

A strategic alliance with Delta Airlines (LUV) is also already on the books. The partners plan to use Joby’s flying vehicles to shuttle passengers to and from airports. It’s not just Delta lending wings to this venture. Joby’s lead investor Toyota (TM) provided $400 million for the project and plans to supply crucial manufacturing components as well.

High-Flying Impact

Joby is not the only company seeing its taximeters tick sky high. The thrill around the prospect of eVTOLs as a commercial reality has fueled interest in related stocks, including Archer Aviation (ACHR), Lilium (LILM), and Eve Holding (EVEX).

While US companies Joby and Archer are both based in California, eVTOLs are flying overseas as well. With Germany’s Volocopter planning to provide air shuttles for the 2024 Paris Olympics, this once futuristic concept is poised to become a present-day reality.

According to the investment banking firm Canaccord Genuity (CCORF), the eVTOL industry could morph into a rideshare-like sector. Will we soon live in a world where ordering a flying taxi is as commonplace as calling a Lyft or an Uber? The only way to know for sure is to keep an eye on the sky.

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