Connect with us

News

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

Published

on

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.

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

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.

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

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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Africa

American who survived 9/11 dies in Riverside attack

Published

on

An American who survived the 9/11 terror attack is among those who were killed in Tuesday’s terror attack at Nairobi’s 14 Riverside Drive.

Jason Spindler’s mother Sarah Sandler told NBC News that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.”

Jason’s brother, Jonathan, also confirmed the family’s tragic loss via Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9-11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!” Jonathan’s post read.

HAVING LUNCH

The US State department confirmed that an American citizen was killed in the Tuesday attack.

Spindler, who was the CEO and Global Managing Director of I-DEV International, was, according to colleagues, having lunch at the Dusit Hotel when the attack happened.

I-DEV is based at Metta, a space for entrepreneurs that is located at the 14 Riverside office complex in the Belgravia building’s sixth floor.

The Metta Africa Head of Community, memberships and operations Essie Mwikali said there were 45 people at the space when the attack happened and accounted for everyone and confirmed the death of Spindler.

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

Nailab CEO Sam Gichuru eulogized Spindler as “a strong supporter of the Kenyan Tech Ecosystem.”

By Agencies

Continue Reading

News

IN PICTURES: This man Inayat Kassam

Published

on

BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

His face has been splashed on local and international papers as he gallantly rescued and directed survivors of the Tuesdays attack at 14 Riverside complex.

Meet Inayat Kassam, the man who saved lives during the Westgate attack in 2013 and on Tuesday stepped up again to be among the first responders.

Kenyans across the country have been paying glowing tribute to Mr Kassam, calling him a hero for his selfless sacrifice to rescue victims trapped in Dusit D2 Hotel.

On 21st September 2013, after four masked gunmen attacked Westgate shopping mall and killed at least 67 people, he was among the first people who rushed to the scene of attack

Mr Kassam is not a police officer. He is a licensed firearm holder and a security instructor who trains people on how to use weapons at a shooting range.

Inayat Kassam during Westgate and the Riverside operation

 

 

Inayat Kassam

 

 

Inayat Kassam rescues a woman from Dusit attack

 

Inayat Kassam during the Riverside operation

 

 

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

News

Linturi: Kitany out to rip me off my property

Published

on

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has urged a Nairobi court to dismiss an application by Ms Marianne Kitany, who claims to be his wife, saying, she is trying to strip him of his property.

Arguing before the court yesterday, Mr Linturi, through lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu, said Ms Kitany hid some facts from the court when she got temporary orders giving her exclusive use of their Runda home.

The senator denied that Ms Kitany was a “jobless housewife with no stable income”, but that she has several multimillion properties, businesses and assets.

I have never cohabited or entered into a customary relationship with the petitioner” he said. He said he never dissolved his marriage to Ms Mercy Kaimenyi and claims that he and Ms Kitany were married under Meru customary law were false.

Mr Linturi told the court Ms Kitany has no evidence to prove he has been violent towards her and the court order was a desperate attempt to defraud him of property. Instead, it was Ms Kitany who was “cruel, mean and hostile towards my children who are still at a tender age”.

But Ms Kitany, through lawyer Danstan Omari, insisted that there was a very personal relationship between the two and she was not a visitor as alleged by Mr Linturi.

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

She said the amount of time they spent together cannot be wished away and that she even campaigned for him during the 2017 General Election.

Her lawyer said the court has a duty to protect the dignity of people in personal relationships and any forcible eviction without due regard to the law must be resisted.

She is a jobless former public servant while the respondent is a powerful senator. She is therefore vulnerable and the rightful place where she can seek protection is the court,” he said.

He said it will be a great calamity if men are allowed to “use and dump women”.

Senior Resident Magistrate Isaac Orenge will rule on the matter on February 1. Ms Kitany will meanwhile remain at the Runda residence.

Continue Reading

Trending

error: Content is protected !!