Photo Credit: Robyn Beck
The Future: Flying Taxis To Launch in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Airways and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer have signed an agreement to launch flying taxis in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi, according to Further Africa. The agreement with Embraer was signed through Fahari Aviation, Kenya Airways’ new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) division.
Through this partnership, Embraer will begin the development of the flying taxis, who officially go by the name is EVA, short for Electric Vertical Aircraft. The goal of creating flying taxis is to provide an affordable, accessible, and sustainable travel option that also drastically reduces travel time.
Fully electric vehicles, the aircrafts will produce no emissions and low noise. They are also expected to reduce travel time up to 90%, for example shortening a typical hour and a half long ride to just six minutes.
With a range of 250 kilometers, EVAs are able to transport 250 pounds of weight at 400 kilometers per hour. The flying taxis will originally start out as manned vehicles, and later transition over to being fully unmanned.
After the transition, the vehicles will be entirely controlled remotely through automatic systems such as radar, lidar, and camera sensors. Fahari Aviation has created a school in which it plans to train Kenyans to operate the EVAs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Kenya Airways to provide new forms of air mobility throughout the region for both people and goods,” said Andre Stein, President and CEO of Embraer’s Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions in a press release.
“The creation of disruptive and widely accessible Urban Air Mobility solutions will help democratize mobility by making it more accessible, affordable and giving communities more options. This partnership will foster long-term mobility strategies throughout the country and region. With our aircraft and aerospace services backing and Kenya Airways’ innovative approach to air mobility, we are enthusiastic about opening this region to more sustainable and community-friendly air access for all.”