Joby and Archer disclose additional details of commercial eVTOL roll out plans 

Archer Aviation

Two leading eVTOL developers, Joby Aviation and Archer Aviation, have announced significant milestones in their path to commercial roll out. 

On June 20, 2024, Joby Aviation confirmed it received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization to roll out the software platform that will allow it to manage several key commercial and operational functions. 

The ElevateOS, which Joby has developed in-house, is a suite of digital tools to manage key elements of the future eVTOL experience such as the on-demand request of air rides by travelers, operations scheduling and a pilot app.  

Joby Aviation

Once its eVTOL aircraft is certified and enters service, this software platform will to critical for operators wishing to provide an on-demand air ride experience, which is one of the main business cases Joby is building its aircraft for. 

Both Joby Aviation and its competitor Archer Aviation have received their Part 135 from the FAA, a certification that will enable them to operate their own aircraft commercially, offering air rides directly to passengers. 

Joby also revealed that it has already been conducting simulations of its air taxi service using its ElevateOS software since it received its Part 135 in May 2022. However, a conventional four-seater aircraft was used in these simulations, rather than the eVTOL, which is still undergoing flight tests. 

Archer unveils Bay Area network plans 

Also on June 20, 2024, Archer disclosed details of its commercial roll out plan for the San Francisco Bay Area, in California. This pioneering air network will include five points in the Bay Area: South San Francisco, Napa, San Jose, Oakland, and Livermore. 

As in the case of Joby, ride services between these points will be bookable through a dedicated app.  

Archer has also partnered with Kilroy Realty Corporation, a real estate investment and management company, to set up its principal node in the Bay Area at Kilroy’s Oyster Point South San Francisco, a seafront development that is located just north of San Francisco International Airport (SFO). This emplacement will have floating landing pads and will also offer inter-modal transport options that will include electrically powered ferries. 

According to Archer, these routes will make it possible to reduce travel times between the designated points from one to two hours to 10 to 20 minutes.  

The eVTOL developer also mentioned a potential launch date of 2025 in its press release, although this would be dependent on having its Midnight eVTOL aircraft certified by that date, something which is still far from certain. 

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