An ambitious flying cars project is set to launch in Nairobi City, among several others. The project by McFly.aero block-chain provides air taxi services. The company has already started setting up infrastructure in Nairobi for the air taxis.
The business incorporates two business structures. First, spanning a technological consortium of 12 companies that are developing components of city air taxis, flying cars that have Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOLs), traffic and energy management infrastructure. Secondly, establishing local communities dubbed McFly Chapters where the community will be engaged to share information on developments in the project, obtaining research from industry experts and engaging entrepreneurs who will establish local connections with manufacturers, real estate owners for landing pads and government agencies for registration. Several opportunities are expected to arise in areas of entrepreneurship, drone expertise & engineering, and manufacturing of hardware and software for block-chain powered IOT.
The lead community manager of McFly, Nikolay Bezhko said that the VTOLs would be driven by autopilot to ensure their safety. He also said that the autonomous nature of VTOLs would be implemented over time as regulators and users become at ease with the technology. He also mentioned that stakeholders would get to see statistical proof of the safety levels in autonomy nature over human piloted air taxis. Air taxis will be picking up passengers at designated helipads/ heliports and dropped to the nearest pad within their destination. These air taxis are also expected to have noise, fuel use and safety advantages over helicopters. Mr. Bezhko revealed that the initial price of the air taxis would be around KSH12 million. However, this would reduce with time as they get to mass production to KSH3 million to KSH4 million. He also revealed that fares would be charged at KSH800 per minute though this will depend on the grid’s location. The payment will be made in McFly tokens.
A traffic management system for the taxis’ airspace is being developed, incorporating up to 1000 meters above ground. This is the maximum flying height for the VTOLs. The taxis will have two or four seats, with driving either on autopilot mode or through pointing directions by the passenger. So far there two designs; Bartini which flies at 300 km/h and Hepard which flies at 150km/h. Air taxi market is projected at $1.2 trillion annually soon. More than 20 companies including Boeing, Tencent, Daimler Ventures, Atomico Ventures and Gleely/Volvo have already begun working on VTOLs. Electricity or hydrogen will power the taxis.
McFly is also set to launch in US cities including San Francisco, Pittsburg, and Los Angeles, France in Paris, Ukraine in Dnepr, Znamenovka, and Kiev.
Others are Belarus in Minsk and Vitebsk, Russia in Moscow and Tarusa, India in Sarut and Srikakulam, Australia, Panama, Spain, Nepal, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, and Nigeria.