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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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Entertainment

Pressure mounts on Citizen TV to stop airing ’10 over 10′ show

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“A national television station such as Citizen TV should not bring a show which is more of a discotheque with all sorts of pornography, nudity and sexual provocation being promoted” said Kioko.

The director of Kenya Films and Classification Board Dr Ezekiel Mutua has in the past raised similar concerns about the show.

However, Dr Mutua says it’s impossible to cancel the show because it is comes on air after the watershed period.

The show, which is hosted by Willis Raburu, airs on Citizen TV every Friday night.

Here are some of online comments about the show:

Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, MBS

@EzekielMutua

I am very happy to see the campaign against 10/10 – the obscene crap run by @WillisRaburu on @citizentvkenya. Sometimes I wonder whether the owners of the station care about morality. Would they let their kids watch the discotheque on TV. Shame on the managment & owners too!

671 people are talking about this

Shem@Am_Shem

If you wouldn’t watch a show with your parents, then it shouldn’t be aired on Live TV

See Shem’s other Tweets

NaiBlogger™@NaiBlogger

Royal Media Services Managing Director, Wachira waruru called cops to stop a team from @CitizenGoAfrica led by @annmtave from going to the studios to present the petition signatures to . Selling programs using teenagers nudity is a No. Kenyans are tired
📸||courtesy

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
135 people are talking about this

Ann Kioko

I would rather be in jail fighting for the right thing than remain relevant while doing nasty things like they do on Fridays @citizentvkenya . stop it @WillisRaburu . You can resign if you are forced into this

View image on Twitter

Nyamogo Gogni@ejnyamogo

Thank you for standing up for the rights of the and their future. It is very unfortunate that mainstream media promotes today is tue name of Now!

See Nyamogo Gogni’s other Tweets

Kwale Gunner 🇰🇪@Sam_Lulli

This show parades tens of indecently dressed youth who dance and twerk live on television. The almost naked youth dance in sexually provocative styles while the disc jokey makes sure to spin the dirtiest of the songs.

128 people are talking about this

She’s The One@NikitaHemising

This show promotes teen pregnancy and diseases such as STIs and HIV and Aids. When the show ends it almost 1am in the morning. This where they engage in dangerous sexual activities

280 people are talking about this
BY NN

READ ALSO:   Gov’t bans all vehicles from Nairobi CBD for two days a week, hawkers to take over the streets
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Police chopper comes to the rescue of man who was stranded on rooftop

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An amateur video is making rounds on social media showing a police helicopter rescuing a man who is stranded on the rooftop of a house in Joska.

The man seems to have climbed to the rooftop following floods that are being witnessed in the area due to the ongoing heavy rainfall.

In the video, the helicopter is seen descending above a house marooned in flood waters.

It then stops mid-air to allow the man to get on board.

In the background, people are heard shouting as they praise the pilot for saving a life.

“Today Ndung’u has boarded a plane and he does not have a passport,” a man is heard saying.

On Wednesday the meteorological department warned that the rains pounding several parts of the country will persist until the end of December.

The department asked Kenyans to be on the lookout for overflowing river banks and landslides.

Western Kenya, the Lake Basin, and Rift Valley were named as areas that will experience more rainfall.

BY NN

READ ALSO:   Uber plans blacklist of unruly customers to protect drivers
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Houses flooded in Ruiru

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Developers of an upcoming city, owned by the Kenyatta family in Ruiru, are on the spot after their dam caused rain water to flood homes in surrounding areas in the small hours of Thursday.

Northlands City, a mega urban development comprising of residential, industrial and commercial units, is being set up using water from Uhuru Dam, which is also called Sukari Dam.

There has been a simmering conflict between residents and owners of the project, conceived in 2016 and planned by Triad Architects, since 2015.

This was after the height of the wall at the dam’s spillway was raised to accommodate more water.

Ruiru residents stand outside their flooded homes on December 5, 2019. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG

According to residents, the raised wall was put their lives at risk and exposed their property to damage by floods.

“In our various meetings with you, we expressed our reservations on the ‘containment wall’ blocking storm water from our estate into the natural course, which is within your property,” the residents said in a letter dated September 17, 2015.

The protest letter was addressed to Northlands City under the care of Brookside Dairy, a milk processor owned by the Kenyatta family, and was received by a Ms Angela Kyungu on September 25, 2015.

“It (the wall) restricts the natural flow of the water thereby causing flooding in our estate during heavy raining periods,” the letter signed by Varsityville Residents Association Secretary Francis Kiarie adds.

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Their fears were confirmed on Thursday morning when storm waters flooded their houses as they slept.

Homes surrounded by water on December 5, 2019. There has been a simmering conflict between residents and owners of the Northlands project belonging to the Kenyatta family. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NMG

One of the affected residents, Ms Caroline Gitari, told the Nation that their houses were flooded a few minutes after 1am.

“There is an obstruction that has forced water to flow into Varsityville estate and other surrounding areas,” she said.

She said she could count close to 10 houses that were affected by the raging waters.

“We have not slept. As we speak, we are stranded with children. Our houses are a big mess,” she added.

Varsityville estate in Ruiru. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS

According to the locals, the wall, which they say was erected without consultations, first caused floods in 2015 and it has remained a nightmare since.

“In the last rainy season (2015), flooding was experienced on the plots neighbouring your property,” the residents say in their letter.

“The few homes around here were greatly distressed by this abnormal flooding and we informed you this.”

Mr Kiarie asked Northlands City to “lower the spill way level and remove or improve what you are calling the containment wall so that we can revert to the conditions that pertained earlier or apply any other conditions that do not pose any threat of flooding to our homes”.

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

However, it is emerging that the developers of Northlands City and the dam owners did not take any action despite residents’ threat to hold them accountable for any damages caused by storm waters.

The dam is situated along the Eastern Bypass next to Brookside collection and cooling centre in Kiambu County. It is located about a kilometre Clay Works factory on Thika Road.

Once complete, the Kenyatta family-owned Northland City will sit on 11,800 acres of land and will accommodate an estimated 250,000 people working and living within its boundaries.

It will feature residential homes, recreation facilities, a stadium, commercial centres, industrial estates, farms, schools, civic buildings and hotels.

Recent heavy rains have caused flooding across the country with tens of thousands displaced and more than 100 dead.

Cars caught up in floods along Kangundo Road Bypass intersection on Thursday morning. PHOTO | COURTESY

River Sabaki in Kilifi County recently broke its banks thereby displacing about 1,000 people in Malindi and Magarini constituencies.

According to Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna, about 30,000 people have been affected by the heavy rains.

The meteorological department has issued flood alerts while urging Kenyans to be on the lookout for landslides and overflowing river banks.

nation.co.ke

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