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HomeTravelElectric air taxi developer Joby Aviation acquires autonomy tech company

Electric air taxi developer Joby Aviation acquires autonomy tech company

California-based Joby Aviation, which develops electrical air taxis for commercial passenger service, announced the acquisition of the autonomy division of Xwing, boosting the company’s long-term vision of aerial mobility being as accessible as possible.

The acquisition covers all Xwing’s existing automation and autonomous technology activities and was paid for with Joby shares. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2016, Xwing has been flying autonomous aircraft since 2020, using software it developed in-house to enable uncrewed operations supervised from the ground. With 250 fully autonomous flights and more than 500 auto-landings completed, Xwing in 2023 became the first company to receive an official project designation for the certification of a large unmanned aerial system from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the first to receive an U.S. Air Force military flight release in 2024.

Joby said the acquisition complements its 2021 acquisition of Inras GmbH, a company developing lightweight, high-performance radar sensor technology. Xwing’s expertise in perception technology, system integration and certification is expected to benefit both near-term piloted operations for Joby as well as fully autonomous operations in the future.

“The aircraft we are certifying will have a fully qualified pilot on board, but we recognize that a future generation of autonomous aircraft will play an important part in unlocking our vision of making clean and affordable aerial mobility as accessible as possible,” said Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt.

A diverse set of engineers, researchers and technologists from Xwing will be integrated into Joby, where they will focus on the increased automation and autonomy for the Joby aircraft as well as expanding opportunities to partner with the U.S. Department of Defense on technology development.

“Xwing’s goal of connecting communities with clean and affordable autonomous flight aligns closely with Joby’s long-term vision,” said Maxime Gariel, Xwing’s co-founder, president and chief technical officer. “For the past seven years, our team has broken barriers to advance aviation autonomy. Now as we join forces with the leading electric air-taxi developer, I can’t imagine a better home for the Xwing team to realize our shared vision.”

In February, Joby announced a deal to launch air taxi services in Dubai by early 2026. The company raised $590 million in a 2020 fundraising round.

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