Top 7 African taxi-hailing apps giving Uber a run for its money

Top 7 African taxi-hailing apps giving Uber a run for its money

Little Cab is a Kenyan ride-hailing app backed by telecoms operator Safaricom.

The taxi-hailing industry is gradually growing in Africa and has brought about a diverse market of competition. Tech entrepreneurs have come up with disruptive e-hailing apps in a bid to give Uber a run for its money. Although competitors may offer better quality or cheaper services, many customers may still prefer Uber or Taxify as these companies have established a stronger brand and larger driver network.

In Africa, Uber has operations in eight countries; Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania. While Taxify operates in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Regulators in other countries continue to shun Uber but the company continues to lead the market in Africa since its entry in 2013.
Uber and Taxify have held the top spot but there are new taxi apps that are coming up and challenging the marketplace. Here is a list of 7 African taxi-hailing services disrupting the market.

1. Tag Your Ride – South Africa
The mobile application, Tag Your Ride, was launched by Rogerant Tshibangu, a university graduate and now academic development officer at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The app has standard pricing for the rides stipulated on their app to prevent overcharging people. It operates in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, and Harare. This app can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

2. Little Cabs – Kenya
Little Cab is a Kenyan ride-hailing app backed by telecoms operator Safaricom. Little Cab allows customers to pay for their ride or for others’ through Safaricom’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, buy discounted airtime during the trip and access free Wi-Fi. It allows non-smartphone users to hail a cab through a USSD system, and lets women exclusively request for female drivers from 6 pm to 6 am for safety reasons. In 2016, the company launched its services in Nigeria and Uganda.

3. Oga Taxi – Nigeria
Available on Google Play and App Store, Oga Taxi was launched in 2016. Much like Uber, Oga Taxi gives passengers three ride options namely: Standard, Deluxe, and Executive. It also gives passengers the option to pay with either cash or card. Oga Taxi operates in Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt.

4. Yookoo Rider – South Africa
Yookoo Rider is an app launched by the South African Meter Taxi Association. The application was launched in 2017. Yookoo is also available for download on IOS and Google Play. By using the latest technology, the app is designed to improve the meter taxi association by making it more accessible to consumers. The registration of cab drivers includes comprehensive driver vetting and criminal checks complete with fingerprint technology to ensure optimum security and ease of mind for customers. Comprehensive customer relations and driver training programme will follow. The application can be downloaded on Google Play Store.

5. Smart Cab – Nigeria
Smart Cab is an online cab request service provider in Nigeria. The application can be downloaded on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Smart Cab offers services like Free WiFi, Anti-Theft/Anti-Riot Security and Passenger insurance. Launched in 2017, the company is operative in Lagos, Benin, Port-Harcourt, Abuja and Ibadan.

6. Maramoja – Kenya
Kenyan based taxi-hailing app, Maramoja, uses artificial intelligence to assign the driver a trust score, arrived at from a rider’s phonebook contacts and social media friends.  Maramoja has signed contracts with 24 countries throughout Africa to bring its trust-based taxi app franchise to those markets. In 2016, the company was selected to participate in this year’s Seedstars World Summit in Switzeland. They offer fixed prices and flexible payment.  Soon, Maramoja is launching a feature that lets passengers report accidents, attacks or other emergencies. They accept mobile money, credit, cash, and corporate invoicing directly. The app is available on Google Play.

7. LEFA – Namibia
LEFA is an on-demand application for ride-hailing in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Melkisedek Ausiku, the founder of the startup, has always dreamt of being an independent entrepreneur. LEFA taxi operates in Windhoek and its surroundings. It provides transfer services for Hosea Kutako International Airport. LEFA was also part of the Viva Technology 2018 conference in France.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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African leaders in artificial intelligence to gather at AI Expo Africa

African leaders in artificial intelligence to gather at AI Expo Africa

African leaders in artificial intelligence to gather at AI Expo Africa

AI Expo Africa is building the largest inclusive Pan-African AI Community to lead the 4th Industrial Revolution on the continent.

The Expo & Conference to be held on the 9th to 11th of September 2018, will showcase African AI talent and provide free skills development workshops from the likes of Intel for young engineers, data scientists, students and entrepreneurs.

The Conference and Expo will draw together business leaders from across all sectors on the continent to equip them with the knowledge, real world case studies of AI in a business context and how to implement AI in their businesses to improve profitability and efficiency. The conference will feature African thought-leaders in Artificial Intelligence and showcase diverse talents including strong contingent of African Women Tech leaders and AI ethics panel discussion.

Leaders in the African AI, data science and investment space like Accenture, SAP, Dimension Data, BCX, Siatik, Intel, Startup Boot Camp, Knife Capital and Sqwidnet – to name a few – will showcase their AI offerings. The AI Expo Africa 2018 will see the largest pan-African Artificial Intelligence community gather under one roof with a shared vision of harnessing AI for the benefit of Africa.Skills partners like Silicon Cape, Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, Explore AI and Injini, along with platform providers will assist in creating a skills development programme that will enable Africans to take their place at the forefront of this new technology frontier.

From retail, industry, finance and security to local government, agriculture, hospitality, health and logistics to name a few, Artificial Intelligence & IT possesses the inherent ability to transform all business environments, streamline workflow, efficiently analyse Business Intelligence data and improve profitability. It is for this reason that all CxO’s need to understand AI at a practical level and begin to implement it in their businesses or organisations. AI Expo will offer just that: A marketplace to understand AI at a practical level, source providers that can help implement it into any business and understand how AI can improve business efficiency.

Nick Bradshaw, Event Director stated, “We have created this event so that start-ups and the big ICT / Cloud / AI players can all be in the same room, something that is often overlooked by event organisers who exclude SMEs, so this event is uniquely inclusive in that regard. We also have dedicated tracks for innovation, vendors and case studies so delegates will see ‘real world’ AI business applications they can adopt now.”

“We are also proud to be working with AI Expo’s chosen charity and upliftment partner Starting Chance who are creating grassroots educational environments in the Western Cape,” added Expo Chairman, Roy Bannister.

 

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

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SAS urges organisations to embrace Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

SAS urges organisations to embrace Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Vice President, SAS Africa, Desan Naidoo; Artist and co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, Neil Harbison; and Marketing Content & Communications Lead, SAS Africa, Vijayne Govender at the SAS Road to Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence Workshop in Lagos.

In a rapidly changing business environment, businesses are under pressure to not only comply with constantly changing regulations but also to modernize their processes and systems. The purpose is to help reduce compliance costs, improve efficiency and effectiveness, stay competitive and drive innovation whilst looking for better ways to serve their customers.

Against this backdrop, businesses will become more successful based on how they use data, analytics and collaboration in the new analytics economy. This was the thrust of the conversations made at the SAS Road to Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence, AI Showcase in Lagos recently.

Other topics treated at the forum include the path to digital transformation – how to prioritize data, analytics and automation processes, and using analytics to accelerate your organisation’s path to value as well as demonstration of practical examples on how AI has improved customer experience and how innovation through analytics is possible.

Desan Naidoo, Vice President, SAS Africa welcoming the participants noted that seeing we are in the analytics economy where data, people and machines work right to accelerate the pace of innovation, critical business decisions must be made via data analytics instead of gut feelings and guesswork.

“At SAS, we are the leaders in business analytics software and services, and we help organisations across the globe transform their data into deep and well-defined insights. Insights that provide fresh perspective on your business, helping to identify what’s working and fix what isn’t and innovate in ways that keep you ahead of the competition. Our solutions turn large amounts of data into knowledge you can act on, and also empower business leaders to capitalize on new opportunities and be seen as strategic business advisers by using analytics to align the marketing process with the customer journey.”

He added, “we want to avail businesses operating in Nigeria with solutions that help them to achieve a customer-centric business strategy with an integrated decision management approach—underpinned by artificial intelligence capabilities such as machine learning and cognitive computing. Our platforms address critical challenges across marketing —including planning customer-centric strategies, gaining insight from big data and analytics, optimizing omni-channel customer interactions, and understanding the customer’s digital experience.”

A keynote presentation from Neil Harbisson, referred to as the world’s first ‘cyborg’ artist, who is visiting Africa for the first time was received with rapt attention. With a fully-functioning antenna installed in his skull to help him “hear” colour and paint sounds, Neil “decided to merge with technology in order to sense more realities with the natural world.

“Humans have limited number of sensors, but if we merge with technology, we could have more sensors that will enable us understand and unfold the real beauty of nature. We can add new senses and additional organs to extend our bodies’ capacity to experience the world. We can, in effect, redesign ourselves. Our current evolutionary step is to merge with technology and take an active part in the birth of our future selves. I work with artificial senses, which I call AS,” Neil said.

In his presentation, Senior Business Solutions Manager – Advanced Analytics & AI, SAS, Larry Orimoloye encouraged organizations to adopt AI as it is transforming businesses by enhancing current analytical capabilities to better understand customers and deliver the best experiences like never before – and fast enough for business differentiation. AI also sets new target for organisations and helps them to make informed decisions based on the outcome of its data analytics.

“AI has increasingly refined the ability of machines to study data in order to detect patterns, that then allow computers to organize information, identify relationships, make predictions and detect anomalies. Today, modern applications of AI have already given us self-driving cars and virtual assistants and our solutions have helped us detect fraud and manage resources like electricity more efficiently. AI will help organizations improve their marketing effectiveness, increasing digital intelligence by integrating web analytics data with multichannel data to gain a comprehensive view of the customer for better personalization and engagement, said Orimoloye.

He further noted that contrary to envisaged fears that emerging technology like AI will put a lot of humans out of jobs, if well applied; AI will create more jobs and help enhance business efficiency. Mundane tasks can be operationalized by robots that will intelligently carry out these tasks without fail while previously assigned personnel can be up-skilled into more productive assignment, without losing their jobs, and add more value to the business of the organization.

Marketing Content & Communications Lead, SAS Africa, Vijayne Govender said that SAS is a leading global analytics firm and a technological partner across various industry verticals and public sector that has always played a proactive role in fostering innovation and transformation of processes and systems, from regulatory compliance to strategic decisions support, from digitalization to risk assessment in real-time and also providing analytics solutions which allow organisations to improve human efficiency, using data analytics.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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New regulations needed to unlock the potential of smart grids

New regulations needed to unlock the potential of smart grids

Abraham Ortega, Senior Executive Consultant at Hexing.

Africa is in dire need of a solution that will jumpstart electrification on the continent, according to Abraham Ortega, Senior Executive Consultant at Hexing.

“The digital technology already being utilised in Africa in the form of smart metering systems, is the key to accomplishing this. However, utilities on the continent have only scratched the surface of these systems’ capabilities.”

With an estimated 600 million people living without access to electricity, sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest electrification rate in the world. This has had not only a significant negative impact on economic growth in the region, but also on the potential to attract foreign investment.

Infrastructure has always been a major challenge in Africa, and research by the World Bank posits that the continent currently requires an estimated $100 billion in infrastructure investment order to close this gap.  Additionally, a survey by Grow Africa among companies already invested in Africa, has shown that dissatisfaction with the quality of physical infrastructure, including stable electricity supply, was one of the most prominent challenges hampering further investment in other areas of the continent’s economy.

By now it should be clear that the projects over the last 40 years to bring big scale electrification to the continent have largely failed to lead to a sustained growth in this sector, says Ortega.

“Most regions, even those with some of the highest rates of electrification, are currently saddled with massive challenges, including aging infrastructure, theft, inconsistent supply and a dependence on high-cost means of generation such as diesel. As a result, the continent’s energy sector is struggling to generate enough revenue to fund further expansions or offer investors a viable return on equity.”

“With meter-to-cash solutions (smart meters) being rolled out in many African countries, utilities and their private sector partners have been able to improve the accuracy of their billing and tracking of electricity consumption.

Speaking from Hexing’s own experience, clients significantly reduce their losses and nearly double their revenue collection to fund further expansion and stabilisation of their grids. What these utilities need now, is to integrate meter-to-cash into intelligent operation and maintenance management systems (IOMMS) capable of overcoming existing infrastructural challenges, interpreting information from the field and immediately taking the right course of action to compensate and manage losses, with minimal human involvement,” Ortega concludes.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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Connected devices and data analytics lie at the heart of smart city projects

Connected devices and data analytics lie at the heart of smart city projects

By Eckart Zollner, Group Business Development, Jasco

Smart cities are the future, there is no doubt about this.

With numerous challenges both existing and emerging, exacerbated by growing populations and dwindling resources, it is essential for municipalities to more effectively control and manage many areas. These include water and electricity, traffic flow, parking, refuse removal and sewerage to name but a few.

Connected devices, and the ability to analyse the data they provide – a concept now commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT) – is essential to more effective and efficient management.

IoT lies at the very heart of the smart city, and local governments need to look at deploying sensors and making use of those that already exist, in order to harness the data they require to take their cities into the future.

Key to the concept of the smart city is the ability to more efficiently manage assets and resources. This requires data from many thousands of data capture points – so called ‘connected devices’ –to instantaneously transmit information to a central server.

The IoT forms the platform and network for this data collection and transfer, as well as the resultant analysis and intervention. These devices include water and electricity meters, environmental sensors, flow meters, level sensors, parking sensors, a variety of tracking devices, RFID readers and more. The potential applications for these are endless and can be used to revolutionise asset management, service delivery and resource allocation, among other areas.

For example, IoT sensors and data analysis can be put to highly effective use in managing traffic flows and traffic congestion. Utilising traffic sensors, parking sensors and other connected devices, valuable real-time data can be gathered on road usage and parking location statistics.

This information can be fed back to authorities, which can assist with capacity planning, and to help citizens to make more informed decisions about their route and parking planning. If motorists are empowered to avoid congestion, they are able to save time that would otherwise be wasted sitting in traffic jams. This leads to more productive citizens, and the benefits of this will be felt as a knock on too many areas.

Smart metering solutions, which are already being applied to a certain extent, can also help municipalities and citizens to make the most of their resources.

Smart meters can monitor usage, send statistics, provide analysis, and enable users to make more informed decisions about their usage of utilities such as water and electricity. They can also be used to switch supply on and off if this becomes necessary.

Furthermore, IoT devices can be utilised in the area of services monitoring and maintenance. Sensors are able to transmit data about service failures and deficiencies directly to maintenance fleets, which are able to react with optimised routing and proactive services schedules, avoiding long delays and costly down time.

Ultimately the power of the IoT for the smart city is the provision of information for analysis, which can then be used to drive more effective and informed decisions for planning and provision.

In addition to networks of connected sensors, it is essential for smart cities to leverage a Network Operations Centre (NOC), which is essentially the nerve centre of any IoT implementation. The NOC is the hub for gathering all relevant data from all of the connected end points and displaying such data in useful graphs indicating performance levels and failures.

The NOC is also essential for analysing data to identify trends and make predictions, so that corrective action can be taken, or service personnel can be dispatched and monitored for effective failure investigation and resolution.

IoT can also be used to assist municipalities with asset tracking, monitoring and management, including real-time asset monitoring and management, workforce tracking and productivity analysis.

This links into the smart city concept of effectiveness and efficiency, allowing for assets to be protected against fraud, misuse and theft, and for maintenance teams to be monitored and managed. IoT technology can, for example, provide advance notification on incidents of fraud, theft and misuse to limit the consequences or avoid such occurrences altogether.

Assets are required to provide services, and through IoT, the city as well as its customers can now obtain an audit trail and monitor the delivery and effectiveness of services. IoT solutions can also measure and reconcile system data on all the Smart City services and therefore provide an undisputed and secure view on service related metrics. IoT provides up to date geo-location analysis as well as productivity monitoring. It allows for optimal routing and sizing of the workforce and provides proof of effectiveness.

Smart cities require this to reduce costs and eliminate duplication and resource wastage as well as enforce compliance. The IoT allows for proactive rather than reactive maintenance, increasing service levels and avoiding costly down time. This in turn translates to lower rates and service fees.

The concept of the smart city can be applied in any country across the globe, and many European cities have made great strides in this regard. African cities have many unique challenges, including lack of infrastructure.

However, while this can be seen as an issue, it is also an opportunity, as infrastructure can be deployed to support IoT, connected devices, and smart cities from the outset, ensuring that solutions can be developed with requirements in mind.

Cities in Africa need to partner with suppliers and solutions providers that can identify, develop and implement the unique solutions required to meet the needs and challenges they face.

By Eckart Zollner, Head of Group Business Development at Jasco Intelligent Technologies

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T-Systems announced as Gold Sponsor of Digital Transformation Congress 2018

T-Systems announced as Gold Sponsor of Digital Transformation Congress 2018

T-Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of information and communications technology

T- Systems has been announced as a Gold sponsor for Digital Transformation Congress, set for 26 July 2018 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The highly anticipated congress will bring together over 300 senior executives and digital visionaries who will explore emerging technology trends that are driving digital transformation and shaping the future of IT and business.

T-Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of information and communications technology (ICT).

T-Systems offers a range of integrated solutions for business customers, including the secure operation of legacy systems and classic ICT services, the transformation to cloud-based services (including tailored infrastructure, platforms and software) as well as new business models and innovation projects for the business fields of the future, such as data analytics, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and Industrial Internet.

Under the theme “Redefining the future organisation through digital”, the agenda for the Digital Transformation Congress will cover a number of technology trends including IoT, blockchain, IT security, 5G, robotics, and how they will impact business operations today.

Confirmed speakers for DTC 2018 include:

  • Tom Cochran, Obama White House and State Department Digital Leader
  • Dr Lance Shingai Mambondiani, CEO, Steward Bank
  • Vera Nagtegaal, Executive Head, Hippo
  • Lazaros Karapanagiotidis, Head of Digital Innovation, Makro SA
  • Lisa Macloed, Head of Digital, Tiso Blackstar
  • Nneka Keshi, Director of Digital Marketing Africa, L’oreal
  • Lee Naik, CEO of TransUnion Africa
  • Dr. Jeff Yu-Jen Chen, GIBS Business School
  • Rivoningo Mhlari, Co-Founder & CEO, Rikatec
  • Vijay Naidoo, CIO, Parmalat Africa
  • Dr Kenny Moodley, Head of Digital & Social Media, Eskom
  • Birgitta Cederstrom, Global Commercial Director, Frost & Sullivan
  • Andrew Dafoor, Group Chief Executive, Alexander Forbes
  • Jonathan Novotny, Co-Founder & CEO, Code4Change
  • Tawanda Chatikobo, Head of Digital, Nedbank Insurance

How to participate at DTC 2018:

Join as an attendee: Join local and international CxOs, line-of-business (LoB) executives as well as heads of innovation, technology and strategy to discuss the techniques and tools required to implement a seamless digital transformation strategy that will drive profitability and customer centricity.
Join us as an exhibitor: Showcase your technology innovations, projects, and solutions. Put your organisation, company or SME at the centre of this one-of-a-kind gathering. Find new partnerships, investors, leads, and opportunities.

For more information regarding the conference, visit: 

[t]: 011 026 0981/2 [e]: events@itnewsafrica.com

Staff Writer

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Indian state cuts internet after three new lynchings

Authorities in northeastern India have cut internet access after crazed mobs beat three people to death in lynchings sparked by rumours spread on smartphones, officials said Friday.

They were the latest in a string of more than 25 similar killings in recent months across India, according to press reports, that have been ignited by false information spread on messaging service WhatsApp.

“The administration has decided to cut off the internet and mobile messaging services for next 48 hours… to stop rumour mongering,” said Smriti Ranjan Das, a police spokesman in the tribal-dominated state of Tripura.

The latest victims, one of whom was tasked by authorities with warning people against hoaxes, perished in three separate incidents on Thursday in Tripura.

Locals in Sabroom, some 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the state capital Agartala, attacked “rumour buster” Sukanta Chakraborty with sticks and bricks as he was warning people on a megaphone against erroneous rumours.

Tripura police said it was unclear what sparked the attack.

Das told AFP that the man died on the spot and that his driver was injured in a frenzied attack that lasted nearly an hour.

“It was a sudden and vicious attack and they didn’t get time to escape. Our teams reached on the spot and could only rescue the driver,” the police spokesman said.

Hours before in West Tripura district, a nearly 1,000-strong mob attacked four traders from northern Uttar Pradesh state, killing one and leaving the others critically injured.

The four took refuge inside a paramilitary camp after hundreds of people believing them to be child kidnappers chased their vehicle after they stopped for a tea break on a road.

But the mob entered the base and dragged all four from the car, attacking them with sticks and rods as soldiers unsuccessfully tried to break up the crowd by firing warning shots.

Police official Das identified the victim as Zahir Khan. A soldier was also critically injured. Photos of the aftermath showed the men’s badly dented van with its windows smashed and the doors yanked open.

Hours before in the same area, a mob set upon an unidentified woman after she was spotted by residents walking around their village, Das said.

The woman in her 40s was beaten with batons and dragged across the village as tribal residents chanted “death to child lifters”, police said.

‘Rumour busters’
No arrests have been made in the cases but authorities said they were questioning several suspects.

State chief minister Biplab Deb in a tweet warned of strict action against people indulging in spreading rumours and fake news.

He accused his political opponents of fuelling the rumours to destabilise his government as demands for him to step down intensified.

Indian authorities regularly block internet or mobile services in volatile situations such as religious or caste riots to avoid the spread of information that can stir further trouble.

India has a whopping billion-plus mobile phone users, the largest anywhere in the world, with an estimated 478 million smartphone internet users.

Videos — such as a Pakistani safety video showing a child being kidnapped by two men on a motorbike — are often passed off as real incidents along with text messages that urge parents to be on high alert, fuelling mass hysteria in response to the hoax warnings.

The rash of attacks — usually targeting outsiders — has left the authorities scrambling to mount an effective response, with awareness campaigns and alerts to the public having a limited effect.

The current spate of lynchings started last year in May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the lynching of six men.

Similar viral messages started doing the rounds in February but this time in western Rajasthan state where a 25-year-old migrant worker was murdered by a mob.

It soon spread to several southern states where crowds have killed at least nine people since May, including an elderly woman spotted giving chocolates to children.

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Smart City era promises big improvement for Urban Ecosystems

Smart City era promises big improvement for Urban Ecosystems

Smart City era promises big improvement for Urban Ecosystems

Connected technology is ushering in a new era of “Smart Cities”, which promises to improve the quality of life for billions of people around the world.

Smart cities — which are using technology to make urban areas safer, more efficient, and more livable — represent the transformative power of the Internet of Things. Now, as the new 5G wireless standard is deployed, data transfer will be even faster and more reliable. The transition from 4G to 5G will facilitate the shift to ubiquitous connectivity.

“Our strategy at Intel is to focus on open-standards based data-centric solutions, including artificial intelligence and, more specifically, computer vision technology, which will be powered by 5G infrastructure,” says Sameer Sharma, General Manager for Intel’s Smart Cities IoT Solutions… “Our recent launch of OpenVINO™ toolkit to enable Vision-based intelligence at the edge across multiple architectures is a great example of this. Data from technologies, such as autonomous driving, will be analyzed instantly, providing real-time insights that revolve around IoT connectivity.”

Sharma says that 5G will unlock the potential for utilizing connected devices, from smart cameras to vibration sensors, to collect data that will enable better management of everything from city streets to transit systems.

Economic viability is important, says Sharma, because of the public policy imperative to find cost-effective solutions to the problems facing urban areas. “In general, cities are stretched in terms of their budgets,” he says, “They are thinking about how to efficiently utilize all of the assets they have. For example, better traffic management can be an economic alternative to building a new highway. The ultimate goal is not necessarily to build roads, it’s to improve mobility, and do a better job of getting people from point A to point B.”

Sharma says that social media and awareness of new technology is increasing the motivation of urban planners and politicians to implement smarter solutions to problems such as traffic congestion, parking shortages, security, and first-responder response times. “Citizens are demanding more from their leaders,” he says. “I think this will motivate policymakers, and result in the right decisions when it comes to using digital technology.”

A recently released report from Juniper Research, sponsored by Intel, looks at the evolution of smart cities in the context of mobility, healthcare, public safety and productivity. The report shows the potential to save city residents three weeks of time every year when smart technologies are deployed, underscoring why city-dwellers may soon be pushing for cutting-edge IoT solutions.

According to the report, smart traffic systems, including dynamic traffic control and connected parking will yield a mobility savings of 60 hours a year. Better public safety, informed by machine learning algorithms that enable proactive policing of high crime areas, will yield a savings of 35 hours. Preventative healthcare apps and telemedicine will save urbanites nine hours a year. Finally, more efficient delivery of city services will improve administrative productivity, saving residents 21 hours annually.

Singapore tops the list of smart cities, according to Juniper. But other major metros, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, and Seoul are all on the list of top cities implementing technology solutions to improve mobility, health, safety, and productivity.

Many smaller cities are also embracing IoT. For example, San Diego has deployed an intelligent network citywide in an effort to optimize traffic and parking, and facilitate better energy management.

“Fostering innovation and improving infrastructure are important to enhancing the lives of all San Diegans,” says San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This new technology will give the city and developers the opportunity to make our neighbourhoods safer and smarter.”

The network in San Diego will include 3,200 intelligent sensor nodes that are turning street lights into connected devices. These nodes run on Intel IoT technology, Intel Atom processors, and Wind River software. The system has the ability to extract massive amounts of data, and to produce intelligent analytics in near real-time.

San Diego’s use of smart technology is indicative of how connectivity can benefit a city. “San Diego did not just install cameras for public safety reasons,” says Sharma. “Their system has the potential to handle everything from traffic management and smart parking to license plate recognition and pedestrian recognition.”

Moreover, adds Sharma, San Diego has a scalable solution. “It will get better over time as computer vision and artificial intelligence updates are made over-the-air,” he says. “So, instead of thinking of a camera as a camera, think of it as a combination of an eye and a brain for the city.”

Smart Cities is now more than a concept…increasingly it is a reality.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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Experience PlayStation’s Destiny 2 free weekend

Experience PlayStation’s Destiny 2 free weekend

Experience PlayStation’s Destiny 2 free weekend

A free trial for Destiny 2 on PS4 will be taking place between  June 29 and July 2. Players can experience the entire campaign, every mode, and all the gear they can earn.

Destiny 2 features a cinematic campaign, action-packed FPS gameplay, and a variety of solo, cooperative, and competitive activities all set in an expansive online world. You can experience the full Destiny 2 campaign, from the invasion of your home to the final battle against Ghaul of the Red Legion. You can create your own character and collect the weapons and gear you’ll need to become more powerful. Experience all the improvements and changes to the game since the launch in September, including our Go Fast Update. Take on your fellow players in the Crucible or pledge your loyalties to a Faction that will send you back out to the stars with a whole new set of orders.

Any progress made during the trial will carry through if you decide to continue your adventures in the full version of the game.

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger

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United Nations experts visit Kenya to assess human rights and business

United Nations experts visit Kenya to assess human rights and business

Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Picture: UNICEF/Marinovich

The UN Working Group on business and human rights will undertake its first official visit to Kenya from 2 to 11 July to assess efforts to prevent, mitigate and remedy adverse human rights impacts of business operations.

Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, relying on sectors such as agriculture, small-scale consumer goods, tourism, services, transport, information technology, and a growing oil and mining sector.

“We look forward to learning more about efforts to develop the first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in the region, aimed at strengthening the capacity of the State to protect against business-related human rights abuses and ensuring that companies respect human rights,” said Anita Ramasastry, chairperson of the Working Group.

The Working Group delegation will hold meetings in Nairobi, Turkana, Nakuru, Kiambu and Mombasa, to assess how the Kenyan Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities under with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Guiding Principles, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, offer clarity and guidance for governments and companies on how to prevent and address adverse human rights risks and ensure that victims of business-related human rights abuses have access to effective remedies.

The delegation will meet representatives of national and local government, private and State-owned enterprises, business associations, civil society organisations, the National Human Rights Commission, trade unions, human rights defenders and members of local and indigenous communities.

“We will pay particular attention to the situations of individuals and groups that are particularly at risk from business-related human rights abuse,” said Michael Addo, the other member of the Working Group delegation.

At the end of their mission, on Wednesday 11 July, the experts will hold a news conference at 12:00 local time, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi (City-Hall Way).

The delegation’s findings and recommendations will be included in an official report to be presented to a forthcoming meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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