Joby Aviation has signed an agreement with major automobile parking facility operator Reef Technology, and its affiliated real estate acquisition company Neighborhood Property Group (NPG), to establish a network of landing pads for its planned eVTOL aircraft taxi service, which is slated to launch in 2024.
According to the plan, Reef, which operates more than 5,000 properties in the U.S. and Europe will transform underutilized properties into multi-use mobility hubs. This will allow Joby access to a wide range of rooftop locations spanning all the major metropolitan areas in the U.S., as well as a means to fund the acquisition and development of what the California-based company calls skyports, which will support the operation of the rideshare service in urban locations. The initial focus for Joby’s rideshare service, which will utilize the company’s all-electric, four-passenger vehicle, will be in the Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco Bay areas.
According to the companies, parking facilities can offer many benefits, including locations near popular destinations, adequate space for customers and aircraft charging, obstruction-free approach and departure paths, and no need for structural reinforcement to support air taxi operations.
“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,” said Reef co-founder Phillipe Saint-Just. “Under the agreement, Joby will 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.”
In addition to those locations, Joby also intends to access the more than 5,000 existing heliports and regional airports across the U.S. for its app-accessible aerial rideshare service which it says will offer emissions-free transport from 5-to-150 miles at an accessible price point.