The world is extensively connected today and wherever you are on the planet, you can almost easily connect to someone else in another location. In recent years, there’s also been another type of connectivity taking place in cars where development is underway for cars to be able to ‘talk’ to each other.
This is not only useful for improving driving safety today but also tomorrow when autonomous vehicles are moving around. By communicating their position, other vehicles can avoid them if they are not visible or have been immobilised due to an accident.
Now Goodyear is also working on connected tyres which can communicate with the vehicle. With sensors embedded in the tyres, the tyre and road condition can be relayed to the vehicle’s ‘brain’. initial studies have shown that such connected tyres can reduce stopping distance lost between a new and worn tyre by 30%.
With the evolution to electric and autonomous vehicles, connected tyres and the impact they can have on stopping distance, communication with the vehicle will only increase in importance. The connected and intelligent tyre system continuously measures and records tyre-derived information, which is paired with other vehicle data and connected to Goodyear’s cloud-based proprietary algorithms.
Goodyear has been conducting road tests and field trials and its test fleet has covered 4.8 million kilometres, collecting valuable data to refine and improve the concept. The intelligent tyres can measure tyre wear, load, inflation and temperature, along with road surface conditions, in real time, allowing the vehicle to adjust and respond to these measurements and optimise vehicle performance.
“Consider someone driving on a slick, curvy road in wet conditions. The driver adjusts his movements by slowing down, tapping the brakes or avoiding sudden steering,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s Chief Technology Officer. “But what happens when nobody is behind the wheel? The tyre is the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground and it can communicate vital information to the vehicle, enhancing safety and performance.”
There’s no time-frame for the introduction of connected tyres but Goodyear is continuously testing them extensively with automakers, start-ups and other groups.