Joby Aviation has partnered with REEF Technology and Neighborhood Property Group (NPG) to develop take-off and landing sites for its aerial ridesharing service, which plans to launch in 2024.
Through the partnership, Joby will gain access to a range of rooftop locations across all key metropolitan areas in the USA, as well as a mechanism to fund the acquisition and development of new skyport sites. The companies will focus initially on Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO at Joby Aviation, said: “This is a landmark deal on Joby’s path to building a transformational ridesharing service in our skies. NPG and REEF have an unbeatable network of sites across the US and we’re excited to be working with them to identify sites that will become the backbone of our future service.
“Parking structures are ideal locations for us as they allow us to deliver our customers as close to their destination as possible, while minimizing any local impact and reducing the need for building new infrastructure.”
REEF’s assets include more than 5,000 sites across North America and Europe and reach more than 70 per cent of the American public. NPG is a real estate acquisition company affiliated with REEF for the targeted acquisition of mobility hubs across the United States.
Joby will also enjoy a period of exclusivity during which it can secure long-term rooftop leases on skyport sites within NPG and REEF’s network of parking garages.
Parking garages are particularly well-suited to hosting skyports, as they:
- Are typically located near popular destinations
- Have adequate space to host customers, flight operations, and aircraft charging
- Do not require structural reinforcement to support air taxi services
- Provide obstruction-free approach and departure paths that minimize noise to the surrounding community
- Are naturally suited to becoming mobility hubs, supporting seamless connectivity to micromobility, public transit, parking, and ridesharing
In addition to working with NPG and REEF to identify parking structure locations, Joby’s aerial ridesharing network will tap into more than 5,000 existing heliports and regional airports across the USA.
Philippe Saint-Just, co-founder of REEF, said: “With our focus on transforming urban spaces into community hubs that enable the future of mobility, aerial ridesharing is a compelling opportunity for us to decarbonise travel and make better use of structures such as parking garages.
“We’re thrilled to work with Joby to bring this transformational electric aerial mobility to life, and to help realize its potential for cities and their neighborhoods.”
Joby’s eVTOL aircraft, which has a maximum range of 150 miles and can travel at speeds of 200 miles an hour, intends to offer a passenger service accessible via an app. It is expected to be more than 100 times quieter than a conventional helicopter.
The company acquired Uber Elevate in December 2020, integrating the team’s data, modeling and insight into site selection. Both also agreed to integrate their services into each other’s apps.
And in February 2021, Joby announced a joint SPAC merger with Reinvent Technology Partners to go public in a deal which valued the company at $6.6 billion.