The first order of flying taxis began production on Wednesday—preparing to deliver Joby Avaiation’s first order while awaiting federal approval for regular commercial flight.
- Joby Aviation, an air-taxi manufacturer, officially began production on its flying taxis on Wednesday out of its Marina, California, production plant.
- Production is beginning slow and will scale as it is permitted to enter service by the government, Axios reports.
- Air taxis could receive Federal Aviation Administration approval within the next two years and begin serving customers.
- On Wednesday, Joby Aviation announced that it was officially given permission to perform flight tests as part of its federal approval process, causing a 40% stock rally.
- Joby’s stocks subsequently rallied 9.1% on Thursday, following a 17% premarket rally, after it announced a $100-million equity investment from South Korean company SK Telecom.
Why It’s News
Joby’s aircraft is not new, as prototypes of its air taxis have been in development since 2017, but they are rapidly approaching the point where they will be marketable and available for public use. These small mass-produced helicopter-like aircraft are intended to provide inexpensive methods for transporting goods and people.
Joby’s already has several notable customers, including the U.S. Air Force and Stellantis. The first nine of these aircraft are contracted to be delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, where they will be used to ferry humans and cargo. Rival companies—including Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Archer Aviation, Electra Aero, and XPeng Aeroht—are scrambling to push their own rival air taxis to market as well.
Joby Aviation has seen help in the race thanks to its largest outside investment coming from Toyota. “Toyota is the best company in the world when it comes to designing and building for reliability and then being able to make very complex assemblies at massive scale,” says CEO JoeBen Bevirt.