ANA and Joby Aviation have announced a new partnership to bring aerial ride sharing services to Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation has also joined the partnership, with the intention of exploring opportunities such as ground-based transportation.
The service could reduce the 31-mile journey from Osaka station to Kansai International Airport from one hour by car to 15 minutes. Joby is developing an all-electric, five-seat aircraft that can take off and land vertically (eVTOL) with a maximum range of 150 miles, a top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h) and a low noise profile to allow it to access built-up areas.
ANA and Joby will collaborate on all aspects of establishing this new form of transportation in Japan, including the development of infrastructure, pilot training, flight operations, air traffic management, public acceptance, and the regulatory requirements to operate. The integration with ground transportation will also be considered, with Toyota supporting the effort. The parties will also conduct joint discussions with relevant private companies as well as local and national governments.
Speaking about the opportunity presented by the introduction of aerial ride sharing in Japan, Koji Shibata, Representative Director and Executive Vice President at ANA HD, said: “ANA has 70 years of experience delivering safe and reliable flights to customers across the world. We’re proud to bring that operational experience to the table as part of this partnership and to be at the forefront of introducing this revolutionary form of transport to Japan.”
“Our customers value efficiency very highly, so being able to provide them with the option to travel rapidly – and sustainably – from an international airport to a downtown location is very appealing.”
JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, added: “Joby exists to help people save time while reducing their carbon footprint. Japan offers us a spectacular opportunity to do just that with 92%1 of the population living in urban areas and Tokyo registering as one of the top 20 most congested cities in the world.
“We’re humbled to be working with ANA, an airline that has deservedly been awarded SKYTRAX’s 5-Star rating nine years in a row, and we look forward to working closely with them to bring our aerial ride sharing service to reality in Japan.”
The concept of aerial ride sharing has been rapidly gathering momentum in Japan as the country accelerates its efforts to prepare for the 2025 World Expo to be held in the western capital of Osaka, the third most populous city in Japan and the largest component of the Keihanshin metropolitan area of more than 18 million residents.