Santa Cruz’s Joby Aviation in talks to buy Uber’s ‘flying taxi’ biz: report
Nearly a year ago, Joby Aviation and Uber announced a partnership to launch a “fast, reliable, clean and affordable urban air taxi service in select markets.”
Now, the high-tech aerospace firm based in Santa Cruz might be taking over that venture altogether from the internationally-known ride-hailing giant.
According to news website Axios, Uber is in “advanced talks” to sell its Uber Elevate division to Joby. Uber Elevate, formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, had begun operating a helicopter taxi service in New York City but had suspended it during the COVID-19 pandemic, Axios reported. Uber Elevate has about 80 employees.
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Joby was formed in 2009 to get people to their destinations five-times faster than driving, reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit.”
Under its partnership with Uber last year, Joby would supply and operate the electric air taxis, while Uber Elevate would “provide airspace support services, skyport infrastructure, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial rideshare network.”
The goal at that time was to deploy air taxi services by 2023, according to a Joby news release.