These benefits make eVTOL the main candidate to develop urban air transport networks and a number of companies, including Joby and EHang of China, Airbus and more are working on this type of boats for use in this type of short-distance urban traffic for both people and cargo.
One of its executive vice presidents, Shigeki Tomoyama, will join Joby's board, playing an "active role in setting strategic direction", Toyota said.
Japanese auto giant Toyota said Thursday it is investing almost US$400 million in a company working on commercialising electric flying cars for "fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services".
Unsurprisingly, Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda is optimistic about this partnership because he said, "Air transportation is a long-term goal for Toyota, and although we continue our work in the auto sector, this deal shows us the sky".
Other automakers including Geely, Daimler and Porsche are also investing in the concept. Standing for electric vertical take-off and landing, eVTOL vehicles are colloquially known as air taxis and are seen as the transportation of the future.
Joby Aviation, which is based in Santa Cruz, California, is among a handful of well-funded VTOL startups including Kitty Hawk, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, and Germany aviation company Lilium, which is backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, that are racing to develop VTOL aircraft that can carry passengers.
The carmaker added that through integrating Toyota's best practices and tech in the development and mass production of the eVTOL, Joby "can deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft".
Joby's all-electric air taxi is created to take off and land on the spot. The company was founded by JoeBen Bevirt, who also founded the manufacturer of photography and electronics accessories Joby.
Along with Toyota, participatants in the latest Series C round include SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures.
Toyota has ventured into the flying vehicle field elsewhere, investing in the Japanese SkyDrive project to develop what is meant to be the world's smallest flying auto.