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Flying taxis coming to Nairobi, but you’ll pay Sh800 per minute

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Nairobi has been identified as one of the launch cities for an ambitious flying cars plan. The McFly.aero blockchain project is starting the set up of infrastructure for air taxis service in 23 cities in 13 countries, including Nairobi.

It is a two-part business incubator, the first spanning a technological consortium of 12 companies that is developing the elements of the city air taxis, across the flying cars with Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOLs), energy and traffic management infrastructure.

The second part involves building local communities called McFly Chapters, aiming at community engagement that gets people to share information on the project, getting industry experts to share research and entrepreneurs to establish local connections with manufacturers, with real estate partners for landing pads, and even with government bodies for registration.

It is expected the project will open new business for entrepreneurs, engineering and drone experts, and manufacturers of hardware and software for the blockchain-powered IOT for the urban air taxi infrastructure.

“The VTOL autonomy will be implemented over time as users and regulators become more comfortable with the technology and see statistical proof that autonomy provides greater levels of safety than human pilots,” he said.

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The idea is that passengers will be picked up at the nearest helipad or heliport to their pick-up point and dropped at the nearest pad to their destination, and will take a 5-10-minute walk at either end.

Unlike helicopters, the cars will be efficient in fuel use, noise and safety, said Bezhko.

He said the initial production cost will be $120,000 (Sh12m) per vehicle, but will come down to $30,000 (Sh3m) to $40,000 (Sh4m) once they go into mass production.

As far as fares go, the rides have an indicative price of $8 (Sh800) per minute, but pricing will be based on the grid’s load, and transactions will be made in McFly tokens on the blockchain.

The use of blockchain comes as the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has set up an 11-member taskforce headed by former Information principal secretary Bitange Ndemo to explore the use of distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence for development in Kenya.

Other countries that have been targeted for the McFly launches are the US (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh), France (Paris), Ukraine (Kiev, Dnepr, Znamenovka), Belarus (Minsk, Vitebsk), Russia (Moscow, Tarusa), India (Srikakulam, Surat), Australia, Japan, Nigeria, Panama, Spain, Mexico, Indonesia, and Nepal.

For traffic control, one of the consortium members is working on a traffic management system that will use city airspaces for up to 1,000 metres above ground, which is the maximum flying height for the VTOLs.

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Before any VTOL operates, they will need to meet all the registration requirements for the relevant authorities in each city of operation.

Two- of four-seaters, the vehicles will either be on autopilot or have the passenger pointing directions, Bezhko said, adding, so far, there are two designs: Bartini, flying at 300km/h and Hepard, which flies at 150 km/h. Both designs have a flight time of 30 minutes, he said.

The market for air taxi services is projected to reach $1.2 trillion per annum in the next few years, with more than 20 companies, including Daimler Ventures, Boeing, Geely/Volvo, Tencent and Atomico Ventures, now working on VTOLs.

They will be electric or hydrogen powered and manufacturers will have the first test flights between March and May 2018.

– African Laughter

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City house help caught on CCTV beating up an infant

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Irene Nzisa,

A 31-year-old house help was caught on camera beating up a three-month-old while feeding her with a bottle of milk.

The house help, identified as Irene Nzisa, had been employed at a Mlolongo home a month and a half ago to be the caregiver of two children.

Her employer installed a nanny cam in the living room to help her keep tabs of what happens in the house in her absence.

SHOCK OF HER LIFE

On Monday, the employer got the shock of her life when she left the house to take her older daughter to the hospital. On checking the live feed from her nanny cam, she saw Nzisa beating up her infant daughter.

A footage of the incident, shared with Nairobi News, showed Nzisa feeding the young one and at some point places the bottle of milk on the table and starts beating up the infant on her hands and thighs.

After a while, she stopped feeding the baby and placed her on the baby nest while pointing at her in rage.

“I was in shock, we could not proceed to the hospital after I saw that video. I just went straight home and on my way I contacted my husband who came with the police,” the mother of two told Nairobi News.

Nzisa was arrested and locked up at Mlolongo police post for a night before she was released the following day.

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“Her brother talked me out of pressing charges against his sister so I just withdrew the charges and she was released the following day.

‘HURT OTHER CHILDREN’

“I am however scared she may end up in someone’s house and hurt other children that is why I’m spreading the information,” said the mother of two.

The elder daughter, a three year old, had showed signs of disinterest in Nzisa.

The house help often complained that the elder girl was being troublesome.

“She kept complaining that my daughter was being troublesome but I never knew she would take it out on the three month old,” the mother told Nairobi News.

Nzisa has since been released from police custody after her brother pleaded with the mother of the child she assaulted.

source:Nairobinews

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Graduate becomes a guard at his former school – VIDEO

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A University of Eldoret graduate in Bachelor of Science (Statistics) has resorted to being a guard at his former secondary school after failing to secure a job in his area of study.

Ernest Maiki Abraham returned to RCEA Kuinet Secondary School, where he left in 2011 after scoring a B+ in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, to man the institution’s main entrance.

The graduate told KTN that he resorted to being a guard after his efforts to secure a white collar job proved fruitless.

“Sikutarajia kama naeza kuwa hapa hata siku moja, hata vile nimejaribu nikakosa nikasema ai wacha niishie tu kwenye nitaishia kwa sababu nimejaribu nikajaribu na nguvu zote sijafaulu,” he said.

Maiki has sent out job application letters to top employers including tech companies, multinational corporates and supermarkets.

“Inafika mahali unakata tamaa, kwanza nikiwa University of Eldoret vitu mingi ilifika mpaka inanikazia wakati wa graduation. Inafika mpaka unakata tamaa kwa sababu maisha imekuwa ngumu,” he added.

He relies on his meagre guard salary to take care of his living expenses and those of his younger siblings.

source:nairobinews

 

READ ALSO:   No matatus in Nairobi CBD from Monday as new ban takes effect
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Parliament cop found dead in suspected murder by lover

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Constable Hellen Kwamboka

A policewoman attached to Parliament was on Friday found dead in her house in Umoja estate.

Police say Constable Hellen Kwamboka failed to turn up for work on Friday and a decision to mount a search was made.

Detectives from Buruburu police station broke into her house only  to find her lying in a pool of blood with a deep cut on her head and blood stains all over the house.

The police say the deceased bore signs of strangulation on the neck.

“No murder weapon was recovered from the scene and it is believed that a boyfriend who visited her on Thursday had murdered her before escaping,” read a police report filed at Buruburu police station.

The scene was visited by the DCIO Buruburu and detectives.

Strangely, the police report stated that the door was locked from inside even as they insisted on the “boyfriend murder” narrative.

“The officers found the house locked from inside and suspected something was unusual. The house was broken into and the body of the officer found lying on her bed,” read the police report.

Constable Kwamboka’s phone is still missing and police suspect it was “stolen and switched off.”

Ms Kwamboka’s body has been taken to Chiromo mortuary as investigations into the matter kicked off.

READ ALSO:   No matatus in Nairobi CBD from Monday as new ban takes effect

source:nairobinews

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