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Technology company branch in Broomfield develops software that forces you to drive safer

Posted at 3:43 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 19:57:18-05

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Derive Systems has been around for 15 years with offices in Florida, Idaho and Colorado.

But the Colorado team has spearheaded a new endeavor all about driver safety and geared more toward teen drivers. The company's newest development? A device that modifies software in a car.

"Speeding is a big issue. Wearing seat belts is a big issue. Distracted driving is a big issue," said Derive's Chief Technology Officer Marco Della Torre. "Since we can modify the software in the car, we've been able to develop a product that actually addresses all those issues."

The product, "Derive VQ", consists of a simple adaptor that plugs into a port under the dash that then syncs to a driver's cell phone. The car won't even start until the software detects that the seat belt has been securely fastened.

Once the vehicle is in gear the driver's cell phone locks up so they have no access to the screen, preventing them from texting and driving. All the while, streaming music and navigation still works in the background.

Once the driver hits the road, the software can regulate speed. Through GPS technology, the product knows where the car being driven is at all times and what the speed limit is on the specific road. It doesn't allow a driver to go above the posted speed limit. Customers can modify that feature depending on how much they want their speed to be regulated during any given time.

Della Torre said even though anyone can benefit from the technology, it's teens and their parents who have seemed most interested.

"If you're a teen it feels like parental control," Della Torre explained. "For a parent it feels like safe driving for your teen. Ultimately, we want teens to be safe on our roads."

Another feature — perfect for parents — is an alert system. If a teen driver decides to pull out the device from the plug-in port in order to use their cell phone or speed, an alert can be sent out to their parents.

Derive's new software is still in production. No word yet when it will hit the market.

Della Torre said the company is still asking for input from consumers.