Co-pace, the startup arm of Auburn Hills’ Continental, has announced the launch of PassiveBolt, the automotive supplier’s first spin-off company. Based in Ann Arbor, PassiveBolt offers a module that converts existing door locks into smart touch-enabled locks.
PassiveBolt has financial backing from Continental and other investors. Its technology was developed based on touch technology for cars, which is used on more than 130 million vehicles worldwide.
The new product uses a smartphone as a key and detects tampering activities, jamming the deadbolt when it detects a threat. It can also be programmed to jam all deadbolts on a house when a security system is armed. PassiveBolt allows the use of traditional keys and can detect whether doors are open, closed, or ajar. The product’s patent application is pending.
Continental provides guidance and manufacturing services to co-pace companies.
“Co-pace gave me the freedom, resources, and guidance to modify a technology that revolutionized how we access our vehicles, for accessing, and safeguarding our homes,” says Kabir Maiga, intrapreneur and CEO of co-pace. “It’s inspiring to have worked for an employer that not only recognizes the shifting business ecosystem ahead and prepares accordingly, but also values and supports employee ideas and concepts for new ventures.”
Co-pace is Continental’s incubator and co-operation program and is a venture capital arm designed to support entrepreneurs at various stages. Ideas for products come from company employees.
“Continental’s concept for co-pace was simple: create something that can accelerate the company’s innovation and agility,” says Juergen Bilo, managing director of co-pace GmbH. “We empower our employees and external entrepreneurs to explore their ideas, offering mentorship and, in some cases, financial support. This approach enables Continental to stimulate and access the creativity and execution speed needed to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing mobility and technology marketplace.”
Continental has its global headquarters in Germany.