Aircraft

Intel leads $100 million in new funding for Joby's tilt-rotor flying taxi

Intel leads $100 million in ne...
Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft
Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft
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Render of Joby's 16-rotor in action
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Render of Joby's 16-rotor in action
Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric tilt-rotor flying taxi
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Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric tilt-rotor flying taxi
We first learned of Joby's 16-rotor convertible aircraft in 2015
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We first learned of Joby's 16-rotor convertible aircraft in 2015
Render of Joby's 16-rotor in action
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Render of Joby's 16-rotor in action
We first learned of Joby's electric tilt-rotor aircraft in 2015
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We first learned of Joby's electric tilt-rotor aircraft in 2015
Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft
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Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft
Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft
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Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel by way of an electric electric tilt-rotor aircraft

A whole lot of money is being pumped into air taxi concepts, with the likes of Boeing, Airbus and NASA all investing heavily in these types of vehicles. The latest company to find themselves on the receiving end is Joby Aviation, with US$100 million in fresh funding to forge ahead with its all-electric aircraft.

We first learned of Joby's multirotor convertible aircraft in 2015, and have visited the company's compound since to see it under construction. This thing is no joke. It uses a sophisticated, custom-designed tilt system that points the rotors upward for vertical takeoff and landing, but rotates them forward for low-energy forward flight as a winged aircraft.

The convenience of VTOL, with the huge hourly flight cost reduction of electric powertrains, plus the range advantages of a fixed wing; it's a compelling concept. Our own Loz Blain dropped by Joby's headquarters, and although the design has evolved significantly since these images first came out, he left with the firm belief that this vehicle is absolutely happening.

Appearing to share that belief are a host of new investors, led by Intel and including Toyota, who have handed Joby US$100 million in Series B funding to continue development of its aircraft, which it now says has been flight-tested. Just like other air taxi concepts, such as the Intel-backed Volocopter, Passenger Drone, Vahana and eHang, Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel.

We first learned of Joby's 16-rotor convertible aircraft in 2015
We first learned of Joby's 16-rotor convertible aircraft in 2015

It says its five-seater aircraft will fly more than 150 mi (240 km) on each charge, travel faster than existing rotorcraft and be 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing. The upfront cost will be higher than a typical combustion plane or helicopter, but Joby reckons this will be recouped over time, because its aircraft can cover the same distance at one twentieth the cost in terms of energy.

Joby says for now it is solely focused on the development of the vehicle across three key areas: equipping it with unparalleled safety through redundant systems, minimizing the noise and optimizing the range and speed.

"Intel believes the future of transportation is data-driven – whether you're talking about autonomous cars or next-generation air travel," said Wendell Brooks, president, Intel Capital. "Joby Aviation has been laser-focused on delivering a unique vehicle into the market. This is a truly disruptive technology with the potential to push the geographic boundaries of where people can live and work."

Source: Joby Aviation

3 comments
bullfrog84
Looks like a maintenance nightmare. That and I can't wait to see cars buzzing around in the sky as aware as they are now... I'm beginning to think that these things will be the norm for execs and basically 1%'s while the rest of us are still sucking on fumes and stuck in traffic as the prospect for a foreseeable, scale-able, and efficient public transit is being developed only by entrepreneurs. Need the big dogs to get on this and stop bottle-necking the future.
Towerman
Something does not seem fit with this thing. 1st it looks like a large plane, so i can't see many of these being considered a s a"taxi". Second it looks like a plane made draggier, all those motors ? A flying taxi is more compact. I get the idea is to save on power by using the wings to assist in flight however then the wings would need to be foldable upon landing. Better yet, make it so that the wings fold up in the air and land in a compact state, and only deploy the wings when in the air. Or how about making the wings so it deploys "antenna style" "those retractable antennas sort of like that. Otherwise it's just a plane with lots of motors, not a flying taxi.
Towerman
I do like the concept anyway though and won't mind if it will be developed, the more variety we have especially during the beginning stage of this new revolution the more we can learn and improve from there.