Joby Creates Software for Air Taxi Service

21 June 2024

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MST-Kauchak-eVTOL-APR23_Joby_AFWERX_3-%283%29-%281%29
Joby is expanding its presence in the Agility Prime program to provide eVTOLs (one above) to allow development of training and other foundations for the maturing US eVTOL market.   
Credit: Joby Aviation Press Kit/Eric Adams

Joby Aviation has received Federal Aviation Administration authorization to use a suite of software tools developed in-house, called ‘ElevateOS’, that are designed to enable high-tempo, on-demand air taxi operations.

The ElevateOS operating system, which will be introduced during a virtual presentation on 20 June 2024, includes pilot tools, operations and schedule management software, a mobile-first rider app, and an intelligent matching engine. The matching engine is similar to those used by ride-hailing apps today and pairs passengers with available aircraft and landing infrastructure to deliver journeys. Joby plans to use ElevateOS to support its own air taxi operations, as well as making it available to selected partners who purchase the aircraft, as part of a wider services package.

During the presentation, Joby will cover a range of other preparations it is making to support the launch of commercial air taxi operations as soon as 2025, including pilot training and the simulation of its planned air taxi service using a conventional aircraft that carries the same number of passengers as Joby’s aircraft. Utilizing a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate granted by the Federal Aviation Administration more than two years ago, Joby has already been able to use its ElevateOS software to test core aspects of its planned operations, by:

  • Offering Joby team members an on-demand passenger service, enabling them to book flights with free choice of timing, origin and destination, using the Joby rider app
  • Matching passengers with similar routes to each other, using automation tools
  • Taking payments from Joby team members and external customers for whole-aircraft chartered flights
  • Integrating the use of the Joby pilot app, rider app and back-end operational software

Joby has been actively developing and testing these software tools, in-house, since acquiring Uber Elevate, the air taxi division of Uber in 2021. In 2019, Uber Elevate launched and ran UberCopter, the world’s first on-demand, multi-modal air taxi service in New York City, using traditional helicopters that were bookable via the Uber app.

“The air taxi service we plan to deliver isn’t like any sort of air travel that’s existed before. We expect travelers to book on-demand and to be boarding an aircraft just minutes later, much like the experience of using ground-based ridesharing today. That required us to totally rethink the software and the operations of these aircraft,” said Eric Allison, Chief Product Officer at Joby and former Head of Uber Elevate. “We’ve built ElevateOS from the ground up to enable high-tempo, on-demand flights that will deliver true time savings and seamless mobility to customers.

The presentation will also cover a range of other activities Joby is undertaking to prepare for operations, including:

Training Electric Air Taxi Pilots: Joby has developed an aircraft-specific training course that prepares qualified commercial pilots to fly the Joby aircraft in about six weeks. The course includes the use of immersive flight simulation training devices being developed in partnership with CAE. Additionally, Joby has already begun offering private pilot training and ground school as part of its future pilot training academy.

Building the Maintenance Workforce of the Future: Joby received its Part 145 Maintenance Certificate earlier this year and is developing a comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) strategy to ensure maximum aircraft utilization in markets around the globe. Joby received a $1 million grant from the FAA to support the development of maintenance training programs.

Implementing Rigorous Safety Systems: Joby was the first electric air taxi company to have a Safety Management System accepted into the FAA’s Voluntary Program for Air Operations, supporting the Company’s Part 135 operations. It was also the first air taxi company to be awarded the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations Stage 1 Certification, administered by the International Business Aviation Council, following a safety audit in 2023.

Joby intends to operate its aircraft in the U.S. markets including New York City and Los Angeles alongside partner Delta Air Lines, and in the United Arab Emirates, where the Company has a six-year exclusive agreement to provide air taxi services in Dubai. Joby will also partner with local operators in certain overseas geographies, as well as supporting direct sales of its aircraft to business customers such as Mukamalah, the aviation arm of Saudi Aramco, and to potential government partners such as the U.S. Department of Defense.


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