How intelligent tires will make you safer and faster
Most modern cars are fitted with sensors and electronics everywhere, except for the tires. Tire manufacturers are racing to change that by developing sensor technology to create safer and better driving experiences, most of the technology is still in a concept phase.
Pirelli have their Cyber Tyre concept, where the tire is fitted with a sensor sending data to the cars’ onboard computer, which is used to adapt the ESP, ABS-brakes or other systems. The data is on a very detailed level and can include information such as grip, tire temperature and road conditions. Given the detail of the information provided by the system it is suitable for racing and performance cars as well, where the optimal driving settings may make or break a race.
The system can also feed data to the driver, displaying it on the onboard screens in the car. According to Pirelli a driver can get information about the optimal speed given certain road and weather conditions etc.
Currently the technology is being tested on trucks; it may be a while until it is adapted to the average road car.
Goodyear Dunlop have a similar concept where the chip is placed inside the tire, preventing it from being damaged. Benefits according to the company are improved driving performance, reduced stopping distance and improved stability. Tire information can also be stored in the chip, which means that fleet owners in theory would be able to track the wear on their tires and making sure that the correct tires are fitted to the vehicle. Goodyear Dunlop is testing the technology on the SportMaxx RT tire for marketing implementation, but no launch is planned.
Another company developing intelligent tires is Nokian, they have a concept tire where the driver can push the button in the car to activate and deactivate the studs, thus increasing grip. The Finnish company was also among the first to create a Bluetooth tire in 2001, which could relay tire pressure to a cell phone.