BY DAVID ONJILI
Any country that trail blazes an innovation always reaps the maximum and Kenya is no exception; M-Pesa is testament to that.
Not only have we been a reference point for the world with regards to mobile money technology, M-pesa has opened avenues for Kenyan youth and their startups to receive global recognition and financial investment for their ingenuity.
Similarly, Avakon, established in May 2017, is a vehicle that is going to bring top of the range engineering, development and construction related brands not just to Kenya but the entire East African region.
Avakon’s entry into the Kenyan market with products like Klaus Multi-parking and Cockpit promise to address both vehicle parking problems and smart house solutions that continue to be a headache for Kenya.
Klaus Multi-parking Systems is a German Multinational company and a worldwide leader in the field of Mechanized and Automated Parking Systems, and Avakon is proud to introduce them in the East African market starting with Kenya.
Their first Mechanical Parking System in Germany was in 1964 and was followed by the Semi-Automatic Parking System in 1988 and in 1993 they went ahead to have their first Fully Automatic Parking System. Contributing some five decades of technological innovations in automated and semi-automated systems across 80 countries.
An IBM global parking survey conducted by sampling 8,042 commuters from 20 cities worldwide ranked Nairobi 13th. Johannesburg at 8th was the best-ranked African country with Chicago in the USA being the best ranked. On average, drivers spent 20 minutes to get a parking space. In Nairobi, however, they spent 31.7 minutes. Drivers looking for a parking slot, which may take as long as one hour, cause 30% of traffic in Nairobi.
The Nairobi Office Market Outlook report by Mentor Management Limited noted that the uptake of offices space in Upper Hill and Westlands was low due to inadequate parking space. Through Avakon, Klaus Multi-parking System intends to introduce their parking solutions that include stack parker, semi-automated parking and fully automated parking.
The Stack Parker includes parking one car on top of the other. Here access to all parking spaces is horizontal and the vehicle parked below must be removed for the platform to be lowered. The Parking system is operated by a key switch on the operator box mounted in front.
The fully automated parking System uses metallic structures; the car owners keep and retrieve their cars only in the parking rooms situated in the underground levels. From here the movement of the cars to the storage racks is done through lift slide-friction drives that happen automatically. The only time human assistance is needed is when entering car data at the parking room
The Semi-automated parking system allows vehicles to be parked on platforms. The platform on the lower pit is moved vertically while those on the ground floor are moved horizontally. At approach level, there is usually one parking space less that allows shifting of the ground floor parking spaces sideways making it possible to ascend the lower floor parking space to that of the approach level.
The above parking space dimensions and specifications vary in accordance with the specifications sheet and final layout approved. As aforementioned, several employees continue to suffer due to inadequate parking spaces at their places of work. Most office buildings in Westlands and Upper Hill roughly allocate two to three parking slots to each office they let and so when a company has close to 20 staff with cars, it becomes a nightmare to not only find space but also worries them on the safety and distance of their cars parked with relations to their work place. Many end up parking along kerbs
This parking problem is not just subject to offices only, with more and more apartments coming up in the said areas. Homeowners are usually allocated one or if lucky two parking slots. This ends up being a headache to several property owners who end up losing would be clients due to lack of enough parking space. Imagine purchasing a Porsche Cayenne Platinum and worrying about its parking. Klaus Multi-Parking offers the solution through ingenuity and affordable solutions.
The next product by Avakon is Cockpit, which offers state of the art remote controlled home management solutions that are premised on an easy to install and operate solution highly relevant to the 21st century.
The uptake of Smartphone in the world and especially Kenya fuelled with the fact that Internet access is growing due to government efforts to lay fiber optic cables and thus reducing cost of Internet while providing better speeds has come in handy. Intelligent home management systems are now no longer a preserve or luxury to a select few but a necessity to most, if not all people.
It is an indispensable tool to help ease our daily routines. Unlike most of the intelligent home management systems already in the Kenyan market that are extremely expensive, Cockpit will come at a price roughly 60% less than those available and it can be installed in old building is a bonus to already existing property owners.
With cockpit, you do not have to spoil walls of buildings to lay cables like those in the market; you simply install a simple module on say electricity switches and sockets and link it to the app on your Smartphone. From your Smartphone, you can monitor whether your alarm is on, if taps are running, electricity light bulbs are on or doors unlocked from the comfort of your phone anywhere. You can also pre-heat your water while still in traffic on your way home saving on time. It eliminates the human time wasting and effort characteristic with individuals moving up and down apartment flats putting out lights.
Management companies controlling property can also use it to monitor and correct activities in their respective property like running taps and light bulbs left on, subsequently saving on both water and electricity bills. Gates that have not been properly closed can be detected from a centralized location too. The affordability of Cockpit and the fact that it’s a mere app easily controlled by Smartphone makes it very attractive.
Kenya has strategically placed herself with several infrastructural projects alongside some magnificent real estate projects that are coming up in Westlands, Upper Hill and Kilimani areas. All these are modern buildings that are architectural masterpieces that need affordable and smart innovations to supplement and offer existing solutions like parking. Avakon, through its products of Cockpit and Klaus Multi-parking are worthy partners with proven track record in several countries around the world.
Avakon’s expertise includes high quality engineering background. In the East African Region, Avakon is also representing Rogan Associates, one of the top Consulting Engineering Companies in the EU’s Port infrastructure-development and Maritime Transport sector.
With its combined experience and knowledge, Avakon’s engineering department is covering all the fields of sea transportation, port operation and management, coastal engineering, maritime and harbor works, transport planning, highway and intersection design, transport generated environmental studies, macroeconomic analysis and planning, economic development strategies and measures, investment opportunities and portfolio planning, regional and urban analysis and planning, as well as port systems development at regional, national and international level.
The entry of Avakon with Klaus and Cockpit promises to offer jobs while revolutionizing and offering solutions using the latest technology convenient. It is also targeting to provide the required technical know-how and innovation to support Kenya’s plans to develop a sustainable blue economy, which is the seventh sector to drive the achievement of Vision 2030 development agenda and Avakon is ready to be part of it.