The McFly.aero blockchain project announced setting up of infrastructure for air taxis service in Nairobi along with 22 cities in 13 countries in a press release last week.
The project is a 2 part incubator and is expected to open new opportunities for entrepreneurs, engineering and drone experts, and manufacturers of hardware and software for the blockchain-powered IOT for the urban air taxi infrastructure.
One part of the project will focus on the technology 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.
While the second part involves building local communities called McFly Chapters, aiming at community engagement that gets people to share information on the project. It focusses on 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.
The project aims to use the cars which are more efficient in fuel use, noise and safety, to be used instead of helicopters. It wants to create a transportation network where passengers will be picked up at the nearest helipad or heliport to their pick-up point and dropped at the most adjacent pad to their destination and will take a 5-10-minute walk at either end.
As per the official spokesperson of McFly, the initial production cost will be USD 120 K per vehicle but will come down to USD 30 -40 K, once they go into mass production.
For the rides, an indicative price of USD 8 per minute has been expressed by the project, but pricing will be based on the grid’s load, and transactions will be made in McFly tokens on the blockchain. The first test flights will take place between March and May 2018.
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.