Parking is a nightmare in Harare CBD, and having noticed the problems associated with the parking system marred with a lot of inefficiencies and corruption, a local start-up Microbots has come up with an electronic clamping system to address the problems.
Exhibiting the electronic clamp for the first time to the public at the launch of the Innovation Drive Fund at the HICC, Microbots CEO, Mr Tinashe Jambo said their technology was the first of its kind.
“This electronic clamp is a first of its kind in the world. It is remotely controlled and remotely monitored. The marshal attaches the electronic clamp to the vehicle and locks it using a mobile application,” said Mr Jambo.
The system then sends a message to the vehicle owner notifying them that their vehicle has been clamped.
The payment is done online and once that’s done, the electronic clamp unlocks and the driver gets to drive away, at ease, without having to go to the town house to make payment.
“The payment is done online without having to go to the town house to make the payment. For those that may be lacking the proper devices to make payments online, the system will also have a USSD payment option that works on all mobile phone networks.
Vehicle owners can also pay to the marshal using cash and the marshal, using the mobile application will effect the payment and unlock the clamp.
While not really the intended purpose, this notification process also means that in case the vehicle has been stolen, the owner is made aware of where his or her vehicle is parked and clamped.
Given that not technology is perfect, in case of a glitch will result in the electronic clamp failing to unlock remotely, the device comes with a manual override system that the marshals can use to unlock the electronic clamp.
This device comes with many advantages as it has the potential of plugging the corruption holes in the system and making it more affordable.