Joby Aviation, one of the leading aerospace ventures from California, will now be providing aerial ridesharing services in Japan through a strategic partnership with ANA airlines. Furthermore, Toyota Motors will be partnering with both the California and Japan-based ventures to provide ground transportation services. The presence of Joby in the Japanese aviation market will open up an entirely connected air to ground transport system.
Joby has been pursuing the Asian aviation market quite aggressively, with announcements last week about providing similar services in the South Korean air-taxi segment. While the partnership with ANA airlines and Toyota Motors is confirmed, none of the companies has revealed any details regarding the proposed venture. A spokesperson from Joby stated that the 3 companies are still in the planning phase regarding a number of aspects of the ecosystem of services that will be rolled out.
When Joby entered the Japanese market through ANA, it was expected that Toyota would follow soon. The automotive giant is also a major investor of Joby and led their Series C with a valuation of $590 million. Joby is yet to provide mass-produced vehicles that could serve as air-taxi models in Japan.
They also need to acquire government certifications in order to operate the air taxis. This might take some time since the Public-Private Council for the Air Mobility Revolution along with academics and researchers are studying the aerial ridesharing model being proposed by Joby. Recently, the start-up achieved the stage 4 certification in the American market, which will surely help them get a foothold in other markets.
The aerial ridesharing concept is still new to the global markets, and it might still be a few years before we see actual air taxis becoming a major mode of transportation.