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Toyota Joins Flying Car Project



Flying car

Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it will finance a flying car project that is expected to take off by 2018 but adds that the sky drive car will be unveiled this year.

A flying car is a type of personal air vehicle that provides door-to-door transportation by both road and air, according to

Before now, the biggest story in the auto industry was the production of autonomous or self-driving vehicle. But the project has been enmeshed in controversy even before it could properly get off the ground.

Until the latest development, there had also been talks about flying cars, which experts viewed as future rides, with prototypes exhibited by sponsors but none had reached the production stage.

According to multiple online sources, including, Toyota plans to give engineers £274,000 to develop the jet-propelled vehicle that will travel up to 10 metres from the ground.

It says some of Toyota’s young employees have been voluntarily working on the project led by a start-up group called ‘Cartivator’.

The report recalled that the project began in 2012 and the project members had hitherto donated free time to the goal of developing a ‘flying car’ or drone capable of carrying a person (the ‘Sky drive’ prototype has three wheels and four rotors).

A news agency, Nikkei, says Toyota has agreed, in principle, to provide some 40 million yen to Cartivator, which has so far relied on online crowd-funding and other means for financing.

It adds that the group plans to develop a prototype for a manned test flight by the end of 2018 and hopes to commercialise the flying car in 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics.

Drone technology, it says, is being used to power the three-wheeled prototypes, which measure just nine-and-a-half feet by four feet, with projected top speed of 62mph.

Another report by also confirms that so far crowd-funding has paid for the development of the Sky drive car, which uses drone technology and has three wheels and four rotors.

It adds that the Sky drive cars have been masterminded by a crowd-funded group, Cartivator, based in Japan.

A group of Toyota engineers had been working for them voluntarily, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

They hope early models could be used to light the Olympic flame at the 2020 summer games in Tokyo, with a manned test flight planned for the end of 2018, it says.

The report also says other firms in the United States, China, Germany, and the Netherlands have been attempting to develop flying cars.

“Lilium, a Munich-based group backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, completed successful test flights of a flying five-seater taxi in April,” it says, adding, that the company says its jet has a range of 190 miles and a top speed of 186mph.

Multiple flying cars will be unveiled this year, says a report by Already, it notes that Slovakia-based AeroMobil has started taking pre-orders for its 500-unit flying car.

“Kitty Hawk, the flying car company financed by Google founder Larry Page, unveiled the first video of its prototype aircraft set to sell later this year. The government of Dubai wants to offer rides in flying taxis from EHang beginning this July,” the report says.

It also states, “AeroMobil’s flying car is ahead of full anticipated production. Users can drive it up to 160 km/h (99 mph) on the road and pull into an airport to convert it into a plane in less than three minutes with the touch of a button. You will need a pilot’s licence if you intend to fly the vehicle.

“During the conversion process, the wings fold out, the front wheels tuck into the chassis, and a pitch pusher folds out of the back. A custom 2.0-litre turbo engine switches 300 horsepower between the front wheels and the pusher prop via a modified transmission.”

It quotes the FAA regulations as stating that the flyer is an ultra-light aircraft, which is why no pilot’s licence is required, and it is intended for recreational flying in uncongested areas.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Truecaller Hits 43 million African Users, Releases a Business Solution




Truecaller, a caller ID service and phone search engine, has launched an identification solution to help companies prove their legitimacy while calling customers, thus increasing safety and reducing fraud.

Truecaller helps users to see who is calling and automatically screens out spam calls and SMSes.

Truecaller Business Identity, a modern enterprise solution, allows companies to verify their identities using a green checked business badge that accurately displays the company’s profile name, photo, and logo.

“Fraud continues to be a major problem across Africa, and as a company, Truecaller wanted to provide solutions on a business as well as a personal level,” said Zakaria Hersi, Director of Business Development in Africa. “Trust is at the core of everything we do, and because we spend so much of our time on our phones, we need to make sure that our contact takes place in a secure atmosphere, which was also part of the strategy behind our harassment campaign in March this year.”

The new solution increases trust and productivity in business-to-business contact by providing customers with the assurance that the caller is a Truecaller-verified business.

A checked business on Truecaller gets a verified tick mark icon and can lock their brand name and profile picture in addition to the green Caller ID and green Verified Business badge.

Consumers would be able to tell which calls to trust as a result of this.

Importantly, users will continue to see the amount of spam marks as before, and they will have the option of labeling checked phone numbers as spam or blocking them entirely.

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FG Lifts Ban on New SIM Cards’ Issuance



sim card

The federal government yesterday reversed its policy banning the sale of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, in agreement with industry stakeholders, also yesterday revised the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration.

According to him, the activation of new SIM card, banned in December last year, will begin in April.

Pantami directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure the provisions of the National Digital Identity Policy for SIM card registration are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

He said the implementation of the policy and issuance of new SIMs and other suspended activities would resume on the same date, provided that verification had been completed and the guidelines fully adhered to.

According to a statement by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, an earlier policy was approved on February 4, 2020, while the revised policy was developed in early March 2021. The policy was further improved and endorsed for implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 26, 2021.

According to the statement, the final amendments to the revised policy, based on the directives of Buhari to make the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) mandatory for all SIM registration, were completed on April 14, 2021.
The policy includes guidelines on new SIM acquisition and activation, SIM replacement, new SIM activation for corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M), among others.

The statement said: “For the corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a telecoms master (at the minimum of an executive management level) to provide the operational primary NIN representation. The telecoms master will also be responsible to ensure that the users provide their NINs to serve as a secondary NIN.

“For IoT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point-to-point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred.”
Pantami stated that progress had been made in the NIN registration process.

“Nonetheless, the federal government is committed to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN. The biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards.

“The revised policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture. The guidelines in the policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough, it should be noted that they have been developed that way in national interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource. Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country,” the statement added.

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Walmart eCommerce Sales to Grow by 21% in 2021 to $65 Billion, Nearly a Sixth of Amazon’s $367 Billion




A massive boom in click-and-collect trends is expected to accelerate Walmart’s pandemic-driven momentum through 2021.

According to the research data analyzed and published by ComprarAcciones.comWalmart’s online sales will grow by 21.2% to $64.62 billion in 2021. Its share of US online sales will rise from 6.7% in 2020 to 7.1% in 2021.

Based on the latest NRF ranking, Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, followed closely by Amazon. Its total sales for 2020 – both online and offline – amounted to $559 billion, more than $200 billion ahead of Amazon’s figure.

Click-and-Collect Purchases will Grow by 15% to $83 Billion in 2021

Walmart’s US online sales for 2021 will almost double eBay’s estimated $38.67 billion. They will also be higher than the combined total of $60.59 billion that Best Buy, Target and The Home Depot will generate.

However, the big box retailer will be far behind the top US online marketplace, Amazon. Amazon’s sales are projected to reach $367.19 billion, nearly six times the Walmart total. Its share of US online sales will increase from 39.8% to 40.4%. Third-party vendors on the platform will grow sales by 16.5% to $220.39 billion. That will be 60% of total sales.

Among the factors driving Walmart’s growth is its huge brick-and-mortar footprint which drives online sales via click-and-collect. It has more than 4,700 stores in the US and 90% of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of one of them.

The click-and-collect trend saw significant growth in 2020. According to an eMarketer report, US shoppers made purchases worth $72.46 billion using the method. Compared to the 2019 total of $35.02 billion, the figure marked a growth rate of 106.9% YoY. It accounted for 9.1% of all online purchases, up from 5.8% in 2020. The growth is expected to carry into 2021. Total sales are also set to rise by 15.2% to $83.47 billion.

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