While many other ventures are centered around shared mobility, NFT aims to position itself as a manufacturer that provides a more personal solution for commuting to and from the city.
Co-founder Guy Kaplinsky said the company is focused on improving quality of life for consumers who need to commute to urban areas but prefer living on the outskirts. "We developed this company ... to provide a better world for people, not just to provide the transportation," Kaplinsky told Shift.
The idea, he explained, is to help alleviate the issues associated with densely populated cities, including the high cost of living and the frustration of long, unpleasant, crowded commutes. "I live in the Bay Area, and people ... want to go to (Lake) Tahoe. Right now, from here to Tahoe is five hours' drive. With our vehicle, it's one," said Kaplinsky.
NFT is in the third year of development of the hand-built aircraft. It began taking preorders for 1,500 launch models in April. All have been claimed. The launch model costs $789,000, with a $5,000 deposit.
The buyers, known as the Aska Founders Club, include leaders in the tech, medical and legal fields who have a passion for urban air mobility. They will play a pivotal role in the company's long-term strategy as NFT maps out plans to ramp up production to 15,000 units a year by 2030. Club members will provide insight on things such as improving the user experience and developing additional products and services.