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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.

READ ALSO:   Gov’t bans all vehicles from Nairobi CBD for two days a week, hawkers to take over the streets

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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Business

SPONSORED: “Mahiga Homes” wins 2 coveted Real Estate Awards [VIDEO]

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The Leading Real Estate Developer Mahiga homes Ltd won two major coveted awards in The Real Estate Excellence Awards, namely:

1. Best in off plan Residential Sales
2. Best low cost low rise Residential Developer.
This comes in the wake of being recognized internationally by being awarded The Leading Real Estate Brand 2019 by UK based ranking company Global Brand Awards.
This makes Mahiga homes Ltd the best company with the most Awards totaling to 7 since it started operations 2 years ago.

The previous awards are:
KPRA Awards
1. The Rockie of the Year 2018
2. Affordable Housing Initiative

 

Real Estate Excellence Awards 2018
1. Most Promising Residential Developer 2018
2. Best Low Cost Residential Developer 2018

www.mahigahomes.co.ke
+254720460413

READ ALSO:   Kenya’s most educated makanga? Meet conductor with degree in biochemistry
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SPONSORED: Optiven Foundation feted for transforming lives across Kenya

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Optiven Foundation has been feted for it’s role in transforming the society. This was at The Voice Awards held at the Louis Leakey auditorium in Parklands Nairobi on 16th August 2019. The event which was the first to be held in Kenya by it’s owners based in Netherlands, attracted a number of dignitaries and was officially addressed by the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.

The award to Optiven Foundation was received by the Optiven Group General Manager, Mary Wacukah who is also a trustee of the Optiven Foundation. Speaking shortly after receiving the award Mrs. Wacukah “this award is a true reflection of what the foundation stands for which is to make a difference in the lives of the community.

” She commended all those who support the endeavors of the foundation which she noted has been a great input towards ensuring that the community we live in is a better place saying, “The Optiven Foundation is supported by Optiven Limited and well wishers who come together to ensure that our brothers and sisters live in dignity and their lives are transformed.

Truly when giving you do not just do it for the other person, but it also teaches us to be grateful for what we have.” While appreciated the trustees and philanthropists, she added that the foundation is wholly supported by Optiven Limited where 5% of all profits from real estate are used to cater for the myriad needs of the Optiven Foundation.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Woman threatens Uber driver with fake rape allegations, but the man calmly records the whole tirade

voicesawards

Mrs. Wacuka was accompanied at the event by the Chairman of Optiven Foundation, Mr. George Wachiuri, Ms. Jerusha Abasalom – the Diaspora Manager, top associates of Optiven Limited and who are also philanthropists in their own right Mr. James Mugo and Mr. John Owiro and Ms. Joyce Njambi, the team leader for the Optiven Foundation among others.

Ambassador Pastor Elvis Iruh, the founder of The Voice Magazine in the Netherlands and who partners with Moving Minds Africa to bring the award to Kenya congratulated the team from Optiven Foundation saying their impact in society cannot be underestimated. Ambassador Iruh further noted that the team from Optiven had been receipient of another award which was bestowed to the Chairman Mr. George Wachiuri in 2019 at the Le Koning Hotel at the Hague in the Netherlands in 2018.

He added that both Mr. Wachiuri and the Optiven Foundation had been leaving print marks in the lives of people across the world with the work they are doing in transforming lives through philanthropy. He singled out the efforts to renovate and rehabilitate children living at the Soweto Children’s Home in Kayole where the Optiven Foundation has built classrooms and dormitories as well as provided the daily needs for the children who are fully dependent on the foundation.

READ ALSO:   Kenya’s most educated makanga? Meet conductor with degree in biochemistry

voice awards2

ABOVE: Partners visiting with the Optiven Foundation ahead of The Voice Awards ceremony at the Louis Leakey Auditorium on 16/8/2019

The Optiven Foundation works with the less fortunate in society in order to make their lives better.  Since it’s inception, the foundation has worked in the areas of environment, health and education among others. With key partnerships with different counties, the foundation has been involved with various cleanups including in Kajiado County and Nairobi County.

In adherence to the UN Millenium Development Goals, the Optiven Foundation has adapted environmentally friendly models on all it’s projects including use of biodigesters to save on water, afforestation to increase forest cover as well as participating in community projects that ensure sustainability. With regard to education, the Foundation launched the Soaring Eagles Program with the key mandate to provide opportunities for education for students who have challenges in paying for their education but are keen on performance.

Over the years, Optiven Foundation has given scholarships to students across the country and in every country. On matters health, the Optiven Foundation has provided support to communities through hosting medical camps, monetary support to cover health matters, civic education on the importance of insurance especially covering medical matters as well as community facilitation to persons living with disability. Through it’s Mobility that Brings Smiles campaign, Optiven Foundation has been able to partner with different associates to provide those living with disability with wheelchairs.

READ ALSO:   Uber plans blacklist of unruly customers to protect drivers

Through partnerships with individuals of good will, the foundation has since donated wheelchairs to deserving cases in Nairobi County, Nyeri County, Machakos County and Kiambu County. As the need for the said wheelchairs is immense the foundation is seeking partners to further spread the mobility that brings smiles through enabling persons living with disability to be able to be mobile.

To Support the Foundation Contact Us

Optiven Group Foundation
Head Office: 
Barclays Plaza, 14th Floor ,Wing A
Tel: +254 20 2484022, +254 718 776033
Email: info@optivenfoundation.org

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US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein ‘signed will two days before killing himself’

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Jeffrey Epstein signed a will two days before killing himself in his New York jail cell, US media reports say.

Court papers filed last week in the US Virgin Islands valued Epstein’s estate at more than $577 million (Sh58 billion) but listed no details of beneficiaries, the Associated Press reported.

The will, details of which were first reported by the New York Post, directs Epstein’s assets to be put into trust.

Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The New York medical examiner found that the 66-year-old, whose body was discovered on August 10, died of “suicide by hanging”.

Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was being held without bail. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

The former financier put all of his holdings into a trust called The 1953 Trust, according to a copy of the will published by the New York Post. He signed the document on August 8.

No details of any beneficiaries are included in the document, which lists assets including more than $56 million (Sh5.6 billion) in cash, more than $14 million (Sh1.4 billion) in fixed income investments and more than $18 million (Sh1.8 billion) in “aviation assets, automobiles and boats”.

READ ALSO:   Kenya’s most educated makanga? Meet conductor with degree in biochemistry

Epstein’s collection of fine arts, antiques and other valuables is yet to be appraised, the document says.

Some of Epstein’s alleged victims have said they will go after his assets for damages following his death.

Reports about Epstein’s will came as US Attorney General William Barr announced a major leadership shake-up at the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The acting chief, Hugh Hurwitz, was removed and former BOP director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer named as his replacement.

“Under Dr Hawk Sawyer’s previous tenure at the Bureau, she led the agency with excellence, innovation, and efficiency, receiving numerous awards for her outstanding leadership,” Mr Barr said in a statement.

He also named former agency official Thomas Kane as her deputy.

New York-born Epstein worked as a teacher before moving into finance. Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best known for his wealth and high-profile connections.

He was often seen socialising with the rich and powerful, including US President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew.

In a 2002 profile in New York Magazine, Mr Trump referred to Epstein as a “terrific guy”. But in comments this year, Mr Trump said that he was “not a fan of Jeffrey Epstein”.

What was Epstein charged with?

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Epstein was accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.

He was arrested on July 6 after landing in New Jersey on his private jet. He avoided similar charges in a controversial secret plea deal in 2008, and instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

That plea deal was closely scrutinised in recent weeks and, last month, US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his role in it.

Prosecutors also accused Epstein of paying large amounts of money to two potential witnesses ahead of his trial, which was scheduled to take place next year.

By nation.co.ke

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