Dec 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

Uber sells "flying taxi" business to Joby Aviation

Photo of Joby Aviation's "flying car" aircraft in the air over some trees.

Photo: Joby Aviation

Uber has agreed to sell Elevate, its "flying taxi" division, to Joby Aviation, the company said on Tuesday, confirming Axios' recent reporting. It's also investing $75 million into Joby as part of the deal.

Why it matters: Despite making a lot of noise about its ambitions for futuristic transportation, Uber has now sold off both its autonomous driving unit and its aircraft unit.

Details: Joby is taking in Uber's Elevate technology and team, and the companies plan to integrate each other's services into their respective apps as part of the deal.

  • Elevate has developed software tools for functions like routing simulations and getting passengers from one transportation mode to another, and has a wealth of trip data that can be useful in planning how and where to make vertical take-off and landing aircraft service available, Joby Aviation exec chairman Paul Sciarra tells Axios.
  • In addition to a new $75 million, Uber previously invested $50 million into Joby as part of the startup's most recent financing round.
  • Joby declined to comment on the acquisition price and terms for the Elevate business.

The big picture: Joby is part of a slew of companies in the last few years that are hoping to diversify commercial air transportation beyond the planes we know today.

  • The company says it plans to get FAA certification for its aircraft in 2023 and then work to make it available in the U.S.
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