Dave Waddell, Windsor Star
September 17, 2020
The Windsor region’s bid to become a significant player in cyber security in the auto mobility sector got a boost this week with the decision by Vehiqilla Inc. to move its Burlington headquarters to the city.
Vehiqilla Inc. specializes in the areas of connectivity, secure vehicle architecture and operating systems, cyber governance, risk assessment and fleet management.
“We plan to go very fast and we have an aggressive growth plan,” said A.J. Khan, who is also director of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association Institute of Cyber Security.
“We’re looking for growth and we’re looking to secure talent and an ecosystem that enables that and Windsor-Essex provides that.
“I’m aware of the auto mobility initiative in Windsor and I’ve been involved in that the last year . . . that interaction convinced me that Windsor is becoming the auto mobility capital of Canada and has the potential for a global leadership position.”
Currently the five-month old firm has five employees.
Vehiqilla is still searching for office space, but in the short-term will operate out of the Institute for Border Logistics and Security (IBLS). The company’s leader on product development is already located in Windsor.
“I’m hoping to have an office opened over the winter.” Khan said.
Vehiqilla will launch a phased approach to hiring as business ramps up. It starts with a business development specialist, six researchers, five security analysts and assorted senior technical staff.
The company expects to grow to 50 employees over the next two years.
Khan said Windsor’s established automotive and logistics sectors, the depth of talent being produced at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College and location next to Detroit provides the right mix for his company to grow rapidly.
The other major draw was access to Canada’s largest Virtual Reality CAVE, which allows companies to digitally twin and test products before making them.
“I want to focus on cyber security in auto mobility,” said Khan, whose other company Cloud GRC has provided cyber security services to Canada’s banking and telecommunications sectors since 2011.
“The transformation of mobility is going to affect everything around us.
“The connected car will be the centre of the universe moving forward. The whole ecosystem of it will be based on cyber security or it won’t work.”
Khan said the company’s work would also be applicable to the supply chain, manufacturing and the creation of Smart Cities.