In Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, drones may be used to collect payment for parking tickets. The project is estimated to save the city over Sh18 million each month if successful.
The company, JamboPay, are willing to provide drones to help with the online parking payment services for the government of Kenya. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), most commonly known as drones, will be equipped with cameras to help collect this money. JamboPay wrote a letter to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) requesting permission to use these cameras for the city.
Danson Muchemi, the Chief Executive Officer of JamboPay, said the drones can gather information to collect money and make sure people comply with parking policies. According to Muchemi, the drones will fly over parking areas in the city two times a day to gather this data. Two “commercial drones” will be used in their operation by “capturing and relaying the data” to the company’s servers.
Talking about the service, Muchemi said, “The information will then be relayed to the county parking department for appropriate enforcement measures, which include clamping of vehicles whose owners have defaulted.”
“Part of our mandate for the Nairobi City County is the enhancement of revenue collection through provision of timely and accurate compliance data,” Muchemi said. “We have developed an aerial imagery compliance data-gathering module that will require us to deploy a drone to collect parking compliance data.”
According to Muchemi, Kenya loses close to Sh600,000 each day because of unenforced parking regulations. This numbers equates to Sh18 million each month. Most of this is attributed to slack law enforcement not enforcing parking regulations in the city. According to Muchemi, there are over 2,000 people who own vehicles that do not pay parking fees each day.
The drones and software used to run them will come at a price. Muchemi said that the drones will cost a total of Sh10 million. Each drone will cost Sh4 million, and Sh2 million will be needed to set up the software to use the drones.
The Governor of Nairobi, Sonko, said that cash payments will not be accepted for parking tickets anymore at the City Hall and that the payments will be automated.
Similar to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations in the United States, the drones will only be allowed to fly 400 feet or less above the ground—those wishing to fly above this will need to seek approval from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). In addition with KCAA regulations, the drones will be prohibited from flying over certain areas, such as close to airports or at night. The KCAA categorizes drones under three different categories: sport, recreation and commercial.
Failure to comply with KCAA rules for drones can result in up to three months in jail or a fine of Sh500,000.