October 3, 2023
Singer, songwriter and technology entrepreneur Will.i.am has invested in a flying car startup that plans to start deliveries of its electric aerial vehicles (EAV) in 2024.
The $15 million seed round of financing in Jetson included Will.i.am and other angel investors.
More than 300 Jetson One eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles have been sold at $98,000 per vehicle, according to the company.
Will.i.am plans to train to become one of Jetson’s first pilots, according to the company, which operates at a private airfield south of Florence and plans to expand operations to the U.S.
From left to right, Peter H. Diamandis, Advisor, Tomasz Patan, co-founder and CTO, will.i.am investor, and Rikard Steiber Board Advisor after closing the Jetson investment.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Jetson family and support the company’s mission to democratize flight, opening the skies to all,” said Will.i.am. “Personal aircraft ideal for short point-to-point flights will soon be a reality.”
Jetson's co-founder and CTO Tomasz Patan flying at the Jetson Arezzo Facility.
Besides having been the front man of the Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am has designed and manufactured custom cars with futuristic features working with Mercedes-Benz and DeLorean.
The Jetson One EAV is in the category of ultralight, which does not require a pilot license to fly and has certain limitations, such as not being capable of flying faster than 63 mph.
The Jetson One has eight motors, a lidar sensor auto landing system and hands-free hovering capability.
As is common with other one-person EAVs coming to market in 2024, the Jetson One is operated by joystick controls.
“Jetson is on a mission to redefine the future of air mobility and transportation,” said Tomasz Patan, co-founder and chief technology officer. “We are enabling new and exciting ways of travel, which will solve many problems, ultimately making our cities a much better place to live.”
Patan plans to make the first U.S. test flights later this month.
Other forms of eVTOL vehicles also are under development, though that passenger-carrying category requires more stringent rules and regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Those include electric flying taxis and EAVs for personal use that require a pilot license, at least until the FAA details new training requirements for such vehicles.
Major airlines including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines all have placed orders or pre-orders for electric aerial vehicles.
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