CoMotion LAB (C-LAB) MIAMI plans to pilot innovative new mobility solutions throughout Miami-Dade County to spur growth and job creation. The launch of C-LAB MIAMI was announced at the two day web-broadcasted conference this week from June 30th through July 1st. The conference featured aerial mobility and future of transportation talks by global mayors, leading technologists, public transport operators and...
CoMotion LAB (C-LAB) MIAMI plans to pilot innovative new mobility solutions throughout Miami-Dade County to spur growth and job creation.
The launch of C-LAB MIAMI was announced at the two day web-broadcasted conference this week from June 30th through July 1st. The conference featured aerial mobility and future of transportation talks by global mayors, leading technologists, public transport operators and venture capitalists, start-ups and established players. Two days of immersive and inspirational talks, demos, & workshops offered a path forward for cities in mobility in light of our current crisis. Speakers at CoMotion Miami featured Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, and JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation.
C-LAB MIAMI aims to source and attract innovative ideas and technologies from around the world and test them through local proof of concepts and then develop policy recommendations in each particular focus area. C-LAB MIAMI activities are also designed to help spur economic growth and job creation as Miami-Dade and Florida begin to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced C-LAB MIAMI in keynote remarks opening the first edition of CoMotion MIAMI LIVE, a new annual gathering of global mobility and transit leaders. “CoMotion LAB MIAMI is designed to make our county a vibrant living lab of new mobility in order to create new services for our residents and thus jobs and economic activity,” said Mayor Gimenez in his remarks to several thousand mobility and urban leaders participating virtually from North America, Latin America and around the world.
C-LAB is designed as an advanced and connected urban playground for mobility innovation in which public rights of way in the County and in adjacent geographies are used to develop and validate new and commercially-viable transport technologies. Miami-Dade County, with its 5,500 miles of public roads, its airspace and its maritime channels, provides a complex and variegated testing geography, representative of different kinds of urban geographies throughout the United States and beyond: dense urban center, exurban sprawl, developer-led communities.
C-LAB is empowered by the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works and other key public sector stakeholders in the county and the state to oversee mobility pilot zones and streamline administrative processes to test new mobility technologies and solutions. The first areas to be focused on in 2020/2021 are:
- Urban Air Mobility for EMS
- Smart curb management + smart infrastructure
- Decarbonizing maritime mobility in maritime and riverine cities
- New frameworks for public/private partnerships in transit (including data management and data governance)
Among the first founding members of C-LAB are some of the most important companies leading mobility and transportation innovation: Uber, HNTB, Lacuna, Joby Aviation, Via and INRIX. The NewCities Foundation, a leading global non-profit focused on city-building around the world, is also backing the initiative.
Why it’s important: CoMotion Miami had representation from over 35 countries across the globe, all striving to foster the development of future mobility infrastructure and establish regulations for new industries, including aerial mobility. CoMotion is a recurring international conference serving as a global laboratory and collaborative space for the future of urban mobility. It will continue to bring together many of the key influencers and doers that will contribute to the seamless integration in to major cities.
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Source // CoMotion press release
Beta Technologies and Joby Aviation have just become first developers of urban air mobility vehicles to progress to the third stage of the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program. The Agility Prime program is the flagship eVTOL program of the United States Air Force, as an increasing number of military organizations across the world become more interested in applications of...
Beta Technologies and Joby Aviation have just become first developers of urban air mobility vehicles to progress to the third stage of the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program.
The Agility Prime program is the flagship eVTOL program of the United States Air Force, as an increasing number of military organizations across the world become more interested in applications of aerial mobility technology as supplemental (and eventually in replacement of) current mobility offerings for both manned and unmanned missions. The initiative is best described as an exchange of government resources with private companies for knowledge transfer, aerial demonstration flights, and potential aquisitions of various aerial mobility companies that elect to participate.
Beta Technologies and Joby Aviation are engaged in area of Interest One (AOI-1) of the solicitation campaign, which is seeking vehicles capable of transporting three to eight people at least 100 miles (160 kilometers) at speeds of at least 100 mph, with first flight taking place before the end of this year.
In a press release, Air Force program executive officer for Mobility and Training Aircraft, Lynda Rutledge, articulated the organization’s excitement to work with these innovative and quick-moving air vehicle manufacturers. In the first phase of the collaboration, Beta and Joby submitted “solutions briefs”. These led to a second phase in which the Air Force engaged with them directly to assess their vehicles’ commercial viability, operational utility, technical readiness level, certification path, timelines, needs, and opportunities. Now in the third stage, the OEMs may submit full written proposals for the potential award of an “Other Transaction for Prototype” (OTP) agreement.
Beta and Joby are among the most advanced and well-funded eVTOL developers in an increasingly crowded market. California-based Joby unveiled its prototype air taxi in January of this year, when it also announced $590 million in Series C funding, the bulk of which came from Toyota Motor Corp. Vermont-based Beta — which has already conducted an extensive flight test campaign with its Ava XC prototype — is now poised to reveal its new eVTOL, called ALIA. It has a launch customer in United Therapeutics, which plans to use the 6,000-pound (2,720-kilogram) aircraft to transport human organs.
Why it’s important: The defense sector’s increased interest in aerial mobility is providing a contract diversification opportunity for manufacturers such as Beta and Joby. The companies could greatly benefit in the long run by providing their products to both commercial and military applications, as it would enable financial diversity and mitigate the impact of a downturn in a single sector. The benefit of this strategy has recently been underscored by the impact of COVID-19; as the commercial aviation industry and aircraft orders have stalled, defense contractors continue to fulfill demand at exceedingly high rates.
Sources // USAF; eVTOL.com
With ten years of research and development experience, Joby Aviation has become a leader in the development of eVTOL aircraft which combine elements of helicopters and small airplanes, offering benefits that include high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds and quiet operations. The company is developing an aircraft that offers lower operating costs and lower costs of maintenance, while enhancing reliability...
With ten years of research and development experience, Joby Aviation has become a leader in the development of eVTOL aircraft which combine elements of helicopters and small airplanes, offering benefits that include high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds and quiet operations. The company is developing an aircraft that offers lower operating costs and lower costs of maintenance, while enhancing reliability and safety features.
Joby Aviation’s aircraft is a piloted, five-seat vehicle capable of both vertical takeoff and landing and highly efficient, wingborne forward flight. It is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge. The aircraft is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead. The passenger experience is optimized for comfortable ride-sharing operations and efficient entry and exit.
Joby just announced that it has closed its Series C funding round with a total of $590 million in financing. Toyota demonstrated its commitment to providing “Mobility for All” by contributing $394 million of the total. In addition to Toyota’s large investment in Joby, the transforming automotive manufacturer will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s breakthrough eVTOL aircraft. Joby’s design is well matched to serve the needs of an emerging air transportation market where commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers. More details of the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced at a later date.
Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us, and for this new industry, from one of the world’s leading automakers. Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of their products driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess to drive us toward our dream of helping a billion people save an hour+ commuting time every day.”
“Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” said Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda. “As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavor, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.”
Why it’s important: The collaboration between Joby and Toyota reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to meet the evolving needs of society, as well as Joby’s position as an industry leader in working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone. Both companies believe that leveraging synergies with the automobile technologies as well as integrating best practices from the Toyota Production System will help facilitate the efficient mass production of these aircraft, while also helping Joby deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft, and meeting exacting safety standards.
Source // Joby Aviation
Joby is the first company to commit to Uber’s 2023 launch of its air taxi service. Rideshare group Uber and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Joby Aviation have announced a partnership to launch urban air-taxi services in selected locations from 2023. California-based Joby Aviation has become the first of seven partner companies in Uber’s Elevate urban air...
Joby is the first company to commit to Uber’s 2023 launch of its air taxi service.
Rideshare group Uber and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Joby Aviation have announced a partnership to launch urban air-taxi services in selected locations from 2023. California-based Joby Aviation has become the first of seven partner companies in Uber’s Elevate urban air mobility initiative to commit to a timetable for launching operations. The other companies are Bell, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, Embraer, Pipistrel, Karem Aircraft, and Jaunt Air Mobility. Uber has named Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne as prospective launch cities, but the logistics of deploying its air taxi fleet remain underdeveloped.
Joby is developing a four-seat eVTOL aircraft called the S4 and appears to have plans for a larger S5 model. The covert aircraft development team has mentioned a complete full-scale prototype of the S4, but otherwise has kept plans for certification and manufacturing expansion under wraps. The few publicized renderings show a plane-drone hybrid with 12 rotors and room in the cabin for four passengers, though a spokesperson previously cautioned that what Joby is working on now is “entirely new.” The company has yet to provide any recent photographs or images of its prototype aircraft; however, all public information about Joby’s developments are can be found in the TransportUP Hangar.
Joby is the brainchild of inventor JoeBen Bevirt, who started the company in 2009. The company operated in relative obscurity until 2018, when Joby announced it had raised a surprising $100 million from a variety of investors, including the venture capital arms of Intel, Toyota, and JetBlue. The money helped finance development of the company’s air taxi prototype, which has been conducting test flights at Joby’s private airfield in Northern California.
JoeBen Bevirt had the following to say about the partnership:
We’re excited to partner with Uber. By bringing our next-generation aircraft and urban flight operations to Uber’s on-demand ground mobility network, we aim to get people to their destinations five-times faster than driving, reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit.
Why it’s important: While Uber has performed considerable research and development on its own eVTOL prototype for the future air taxi service, it will ultimately rely on the consistent manufacturing technologies of a specialized airframer to provide and maintain vehicles. The demands of operating a transportation service are far greater than would allow for a single company to simultaneously develop its own aviation technologies. Therefore, Joby Aviation is slated to fill this important role, and has committed to support the aggressive timetable of a 2023 launch.
Source // AINOnline; The Verge
2019 has been a year of rapid expansion into the urban aerial mobility industry for the NBAA. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has shown prominent support of aerial mobility technology and infrastructure throughout the year. NBAA’s support for UAM was evident at the recent Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which featured, for the first time, an exhibit area for...
2019 has been a year of rapid expansion into the urban aerial mobility industry for the NBAA.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has shown prominent support of aerial mobility technology and infrastructure throughout the year. NBAA’s support for UAM was evident at the recent Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), which featured, for the first time, an exhibit area for UAM aircraft, many education sessions about this emerging technology and the release of a report, co-authored by NBAA and NEXA Advisors, detailing the financial and business case for UAM.
The business aviation community continues to evolve, and NBAA is looking internally for ways to shift its focus toward UAM as the industry continues to gain traction and feasibility. As a result, the NBAA is adding to its board of directors two new members who bring backgrounds in UAM and aviation systems and aerospace. These additions are Kate Fraser, who is head of safety for California-based eVTOL developer Joby Aviation, and Charlie Precourt, a former astronaut who is v-p and general manager of propulsion systems at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.
Before her work at Joby, Fraser led aviation policy for Uber and has worked with regulators and policymakers to pave a path for UAM. She also has served with the FAA’s Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention, collaborating with industry partners on both the Commercial Aviation Safety Team in Europe and South America and the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee.
In a press release, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen had the following to say:
NBAA is honored to have the diversity of experience and knowledge that Kate and Charlie bring to our board, which will help inform and enhance NBAA’s programs and operations. As both an aviation young professional and an urban air mobility pioneer, Kate brings fresh ideas and future vision to our organization. Charlie, as a propulsion expert and former astronaut, brings to NBAA deep aviation systems and aerospace experience.”
Also in 2019, NBAA became a founding member of the Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI), a new Washington-based organization dedicated to providing communities and policy makers with the information and tools that will be vital to the successful integration of UAM aircraft into daily transportation options. Other founding members of CAMI include Bell, Joby Aviation, and Karem Aircraft. CAM, CAE, NBAA senior vice president of strategy and innovation, Mike Nichols, reinforced:
NBAA is a strong proponent of UAM and eVTOL, as there’s a clear connection to this technology for business aviation – whether it’s transporting employees within or between cities, or connecting transportation centers with local businesses. We have a great infrastructure in place with our regional representatives and regional business aviation groups to advocate in support of UAM and we look forward to working with CAMI to achieve this.
Why it’s important: The NBAA is an outspoken and valuable proponent for the advancement of aerial mobility technology and infrastructural development in the upcoming decade. Recently, it applauded the Trump administration for its attention to UAM and eVTOL technology in its 2020 budget priorities. The 2020s are expected to see an expansion of UAM aircraft – both developers and operators – and the backing of the NBAA is vital to garnering public support and financial adoption.
Sources // NBAA; AINOnline