Derq aims to make cars smarter and recently raised $ 1.5 million in seed funding after graduating from Techstars Mobility Accelerator. In addition to developing its team and opening an office in Detroit, the company plans to use the money to advance its technology that aims to reduce vehicle accidents by improving the way whose cars and infrastructure are talking to each other.
The company sees its product integrating into existing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and infrastructure vehicle (V2I) communication. Derq has developed and patented an application layer that lies between these layers of communication and aims to predict incidents such as accidents, then warns nearby drivers – something that will gain relevance as autonomous vehicles will hit the road.
The project originates from MIT where founder and CEO Georges Aoude earned a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 2011. The company is based in Dubai and plans to open soon its first office in the United States in the center. Detroit City and seek partnerships with auto manufacturers.
Earlier this month, Derq signed an agreement with Dubai-based agencies to test its technology. The company states that this memorandum of understanding aims to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of connected vehicle technology with respect to road safety.
"Dubai is at the forefront of adopting innovative technologies focused on improving road safety and the deployment of autonomous vehicles .We are honored to work with the office of Smart Dubai, the Authority of Roads and Transport and the Dubai Oasis Authority to implement Derq road safety technology in Dubai's Silicon Oasis, "said Dr. Georges Aoude, CEO of Derq." We have recently obtained our degree at Techstars Mobility in Detroit, and we thought it was important to open an office in Detroit – the epicenter of mobility innovation in the US Our Recent Tour will help Derq establish a team, develop our team in Dubai and continue to improve our technology. "
The automotive communication industry is rapidly gaining new entrants as more and more businesses are trying to become a key part of what is undoubtedly an important communication layer. Derq is an interesting point of view serving both V2V and V2I, but they will have to sell their vision to automakers, automotive suppliers and government regulators, which could prove more difficult than build the product.