Joby Aviation, in case you need a reminder, is a flying taxi company that recently saw some success testing its prototype flying taxi. The unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) craft flew some 240km on a single charge without crashing, blowing up or destroying anything. And now, the company’s testing its vehicle with NASA.
A Joby well done
See, NASA doesn’t just send large phallic objects into space. It’s the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and this test falls under the ‘Aeronautics’ bit of the name. The flying taxi is being tested with NASA at Joby’s Electric Flight Base in California as part of the (mostly) space agency’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) campaign. The tests started on 30 August and are set to run until 10 September.
The point is to “…collect vehicle performance and acoustic data for use in modeling and simulation of future airspace concepts”, which will help to develop regulations surrounding flying vehicles in the cities of the future and which might one day lead to you catching a literal flying Uber to get to your office meeting. Data collected includes movement and sound information, as well as communication and safety knowledge
This is just the first of several tests in this line. Other potential flying vehicles will undergo similar tests as part of NASA’s AAM campaign, tests that will ramp up to become more advanced as time goes by.
Davis Hackenberg, NASA AAM mission integration manager said, “These testing scenarios will help inform gaps in current standards to benefit the industry’s progress of integrating AAM vehicles into the airspace.”