Joby describes “apps” for its coming air taxi service

Software is tied to the planned start of service in 2025

Electric air taxi developer Joby Aviation says it has received FAA certification for a suite of software applications that will provide information needed by pilots, passengers, maintenance crews and other personnel.

The Elevate OS suite will be vital to running a “high-tempo, on-demand” passenger service, the company said a in press release issued on Thursday in conjunction with a press conference. The company plans to start that service in 2025 with its all-electric S4 vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, for which it is seeking an FAA type certificate.

Joby’s work on the suite began when it acquired Uber’s fledgling air taxi business, Uber Elevate, in 2021. An app for pilots would be available via their iPads and would show them the status of their FAA-required training, whether they’ve had the required rest time and details about their upcoming flights, said Bonny Simi, president of operations, in the press conference. Those details would include the status of the aircraft and the cumulative weight of the passengers.

“I’ve used pilot apps for years, and they don’t all have the things that you need in them. So this one does,” Simi said.

A “rider app” for passengers would be available for downloading onto their smartphones, and relevant information about the passengers gathered by the app would be available on the pilot’s app too. An app or apps also will be available to ground crews for access mainly via desktop computers.

Joby, based in Santa Cruz, California, two years ago became the first electric air taxi developer to receive its FAA Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certificate. Since then, it has been testing software and procedures by flying employees on a conventionally powered Cirrus S22 plane that has four passenger seats like the planned operational version of Joby’s S4. Employees have been booking these flights with an early version of the new software, Simi said.

“For two years now, we’ve been flexing the muscles of our air taxi operations,” she said.

She added: “These trials have been opportunities to use and continue to improve our software like the pilot app and our backend scheduling system, as well as the linkages between these systems. Looking ahead, we’ll be able to add any type-certified aircraft to our Part 135 certificate” relatively quickly.

The apps also will incorporate information from partners, such as Delta Air Lines, for whom Joby intends to operate a service to shuttle Delta passengers to airports. Early U.S. markets that Joby has announced include New York City, Los Angeles and the United Arab Emirates, where the company has a six-year exclusive agreement to provide air taxi services in Dubai.

Get the latest news about advanced air mobility delivered to your inbox.

Joby describes “apps” for its coming air taxi service