Tech Savy Car Park: Pamela Chikhani
We caught up with Pamela Chikhani, General Manager of Secure Parking UAE who discussed why the car park is moving towards a more technological front like never before.
Secure Parking, founded in Australia in 1979, is revolutionising the way we see a car park. General Manager of Secure Parking UAE, Pamela Chikhani is leading the charge in ensuring that car parks around the country are operated effectively and efficiently for both users and owners alike.
Secure Parking in the UAE is owned by Al Shirawi Group of Companies, one of the largest private business conglomerates in the UAE. The Al Shirawi Group has 34 companies in diverse business sectors, with over 10,000 employees and an annual turnover in excess of USD 1 billion.
“A car park is no longer just about the machine, it is all about the software and artificial intelligence that goes along with it,” Pamela told us.
The smart parking industry continues to evolve as an increasing number of cities struggle inadequate parking availability. While the deployment of sensor technologies continues to be core to the development of smart parking, a wide variety of other technology innovations are also enabling more adaptable systems—including cameras, wireless communications, data analytics, smart parking meters, and advanced algorithms.
In Secure Parking’s bid to make these transformational changes they acquired the agency of the largest parking manufacturing suppliers in the world, Amano. Its Xparc range is one of the most reputed and reliable parking management systems available in the market.
“It has all the functionalities that you can think of when it comes to smart mobility. It has Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, online booking and payment through mobile apps, ticketless solutions, barrier less solution, RFID solutions, all of which are the latest buzz in the car parking industry,” remarked Pamela.
With a clear focus on adaptability, daily operations, and end-user experience, Xparc strongly contributes to the convenience of both drivers and operators. It is highly user-friendly, is equipped with the most recent electronic payment facilities, allows for unlimited configuration, through its open platform that connects and integrates with any software used by the client and provides superior control and reporting facilities.
Xparc field devices have a contemporary look which strongly contributes to the customer’s positive perception of your parking garage. Moreover, the high degree of modularity allows for limitlessness in every aspect, whether it concerns the number of devices, users or administrators. By replacing paper tickets with mobile app solutions and by integrating credit card, apple pay and mobile payments methods, Xparc solution can be completely paperless and eco-friendly.
“This has been installed in various parts of the UAE. We installed it for The Beach project by Meeras. AWR Multiplex by AW Rostomani in Bur Dubai, and also in Reem Island Abu Dhabi for Aldar project The Gate and The Arc, with many more installations in the pipeline.”
“To stay ahead of the competition, we recently launched Secure Vision, our central command center solution. This is a unique offering that provides remote access to hundreds of car parks within a single network from a centralised room.”
“It is a cost effective solution to clients that reduces the need to have more people working at the car parks and allows for more automation to control your car parks. We have more than 185 car parks connected in Australia and car parks in the UAE are following as well,” remarked Pamela.
For people who park their cars, this new command center helps ease any inconvenience that can occur while at a car park and it is available 24/7.
“If you lose your ticket, you can just get a new ticket issued to you remotely. If the gate is not working we can also assist you with that too from the center.”
By doing these things remotely it would help clients of Secure Parking to optimise their revenue by reducing the operations costs of a car park.
In this sense, Secure Parking is moving towards a more technological front like never before.
“Just like your mobile, your car park systems will get automatic updates sent to it so that you don’t have to change your machines. All these upgrades will just make your car park even smarter due to the latest technology,” said Pamela.
In addition to managing and providing the technology required to operate a car park Secure Parking also provides advisory services such as parking demand and capacity Analysis, parking design review, parking strategy, design of parking management system, signage and way finding design and general traffic improvement plan.
Engaging with a car park consultant early on in the design phase can have a profound impact on the end outcome. Functionality and operational issues need to be resolved early, so get the right solution from the start and your development can benefit from greater car park efficiencies and increased usability.
Pamela said, “We conduct feasibility studies which include looking at the design, the flow of the car park, what type of equipment you need, the type of control you need to manage the car park, and the size of the car park. We also study the supply and demand of parking in the area, the type of project and its visitors among other things to determine the right parking fee for your facility. It is also very important to understand what exactly your clients want to achieve for their car park.”
Today, Secure Parking operates over 1 million parking spaces in over 12 countries around the world. With more 1,500 car parks within various types of properties, such as airports, shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, commercial & financial centers, it employs in excess of 15,000 staff.