24 hours ago Uber officially sold his self-employed car business to Aurora and now he’s doing the same with his flying cab division, Uber Elevate. The company has announced an agreement with Joby Aviation for the latter to acquire Uber Elevate. The agreement also involves an investment by Uber in the company and mutual cooperation in the medium term.
The air cab business still has time to take off (literally and metaphorically). While that happens, many companies are consolidating to be the big players in this market. Uber has been experimenting for years with the idea, but finally it seems that he is going to leave this field to focus on what really works for him: the logistics of food delivery and passenger transport.
As a result, Uber has announced that he is selling Uber Elevate to Joby Aviation, a California-based company that is developing its own VTOL cabs. While the terms of this transaction have not been announced, some details are provided. For example, Uber has agreed to invest $75 million in the company, having previously invested another $50 million.
Additionally, the agreement will also allow Joby Aviation to use Uber’s app for customers to hire their flying cabs. In other words, the idea is to offer a complete service to customers both on the ground and by air.
Joby Aviation currently has an all-electric VTOL with a capacity for four passengers and the pilot. It can travel around 240 kilometers at a speed of more than 300 km/h. They estimate that they will have their service ready with the first VTOLs flying by 2023. We will see at what price each trip.
As for Uber, with the sale of Uber Elevate he has two less things to worry about. Both the autonomous car division and the flying cab division have required a lot of investment in development during these years and even more in the future. By getting rid of both, the company can focus on other sectors where it feels it can have more profitability.
With flying cabs the truth is that Uber had big plans in mind. One year ago he promised to start operating by 2023 and two years ago he showed his spectacular heliports as a concept. None of that is going to come true, at least not under Uber’s name.