Uber Elevate, Uber’s UAM (Urban Air Mobility) initiative, has been acquired by Joby Aviation. Joby Aviation is the developer of a fully electric passenger aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). As part of the deal, Uber invested an additional $ 75 million in Joby.
While Joby has so far operated without fanfare, a press release announces that the deal will raise Joby Aviation’s total funding, including previous rounds, to $ 820 million, an indication of the investment community’s interest in urban air mobility (UAM) and passenger drones.
While Joby will take over Uber Elevate, Uber isn’t deviating from its vision of a multimodal transportation network. “… The two parent companies have agreed to integrate their respective services into each other’s apps in order to enable future customers to seamlessly integrate ground and air travel,” says a press release from Joby Aviation.
Uber Elevate was launched in 2016 and has been a major player in the urban air mobility discussion. It has helped create a possible framework for integrating drones and air taxis into a transport network. Uber’s work on UAM combined with Joby Aviation’s aircraft could create a strong partnership in the future of transportation. “[Uber’s] Software tools that enable market selection, demand simulation and multimodal operations are the focus of their work and form the basis for this future-oriented deal, ”says Joby Aviation.
“We were proud to partner with Uber Elevate last year, and we’re even more proud to have her on the Joby team today while deepening our relationship with Uber.
“The team at Uber Elevate has not only played an important role in our industry, they have also developed a remarkable suite of software tools that build on more than a decade of experience and enable on-demand mobility.
“These tools and new team members will be invaluable to us as we accelerate our commercial launch plans,” he said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “Joby will run an affordable, quiet, and clean transportation service using the revolutionary all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft he has developed over the past decade. With a range of up to 150 miles and a top speed of 200 miles per hour, the vehicle and service have the potential to significantly improve the lives of travelers. “
“Advanced air mobility can be exponentially positive for the environment and future generations.
“With this deal, we can deepen our partnership with Joby, the clear market leader in this field, to accelerate the path to market introduction of these technologies.
“We are pleased that their transformative mobility solution is available to millions of customers who rely on our platform,” says DaraKhosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
Joby expects to launch its planes as early as 2023.
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has authored over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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