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The Year Ahead

Joby’s CEO Wants to Make Flying Taxis as Cheap as Yellow Cabs

JoeBen Bevirt says low-cost rides will draw commuters out of cars and into the sky.
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Illustration: Pete Sharp for Bloomberg Businessweek
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Although people have been trying to establish a flying car economy since the da Vinci days, JoeBen Bevirt may well be the crazy (and cagey) dreamer who finally gets it done.

Bevirt’s Joby Aviation has been developing autonomous technology for almost 13 years. He arrived early at the form and function that might work: eVTOL aircraft. Basically, Joby is making something more like a massive drone than a sedan with wings. “Everything has converged according to plan,” says Bevirt, who leads engineering on the flying car. “We’re really excited about our aircraft and the choices we made a decade ago.” He says his rig gets greater range than many rival aircraft and claims it’s quieter.