Uber has sold off its air taxi business

Uber Elevate is now the property of California's Joby Aviation.

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Andrew Tarantola
December 8th, 2020
The Hyundai S-A1 electric Urban Air Mobility concept is displayed January 7, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. - The flying taxi is designed for Uber Elevate's upcoming urban air travel service. The modular Fiat Centoventi concept car is displayed, January 7, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK via Getty Images

As suspected, and following a similar deal yesterday to offload its self-driving taxi technology to autonomous vehicle startup Aurora, Uber announced Tuesday that it has sold its flying taxi service, Uber Elevate to California-based Joby Aviation.

Joby already makes electric VTOL aircraft so it is acquiring Uber’s aerial ride-hailing division. Doing so will allow the startup access to Uber’s app infrastructure — and vice versa, essentially integrating their respective ground and air apps — once Joby’s aircraft are FAA certified. That is expected to happen within the next few years and could be completed as soon as 2023.

“We were proud to partner with Uber Elevate last year and we’re even prouder to be welcoming them into the Joby team today,” Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said in a Tuesday release.

"This deal allows us to deepen our partnership with Joby, the clear leader in this field, to accelerate the path to market for these technologies,” Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, added. “We're excited for their transformational mobility solution to become available to the millions of customers who rely on our platform."

The specifics of the deal were not made public though Joby did announce that Uber intends to “invest a further $75 million in Joby as part of a broader transaction... and an expanded partnership between the two parent companies.” Uber had previously invested $50 million in the company last January as well.

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