The idea of a smart tire that communicates with the vehicle’s onboard computer is not new. In the last few years, many manufacturers have started to unveil the capabilities of their new generation sensors, but until now, few have managed to show their usefulness in concrete terms… Last week, Goodyear announced a project that could well change the world of automobiles: an ABS system that communicates directly with the tire.
The benefits of a connected tire
The company’s research, in collaboration with the Dutch firm TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research), promises results by early 2022. According to studies conducted by Goodyear, the safety benefits are expected to be significant. Simply by connecting the two systems, a reduction in braking distance of up to 30% is expected!
This ambitious partnership combines one of the largest tire manufacturers on the planet with an independent research firm employing over 3,500 professionals. TNO’s Traffic and Transport division will be in charge of the project. TNO seemed a natural fit, having been founded to “help create livable and sustainable cities through clean, safe, reliable and affordable mobility and logistics.”
Since tires are the only point of contact between a car and the road, it was a natural place to start! As Chris Queen himself, director of innovation at Goodyear, says, “The possibilities are enormous when you consider the information the tire can transmit to the vehicle in a connected environment.” It is indeed in a rather privileged position. Capable of sensing the slightest movement of the vehicle, but above all, the road conditions, it is an indispensable source of information.
An analysis at every moment on the road
We don’t know more about the technical aspects of this project, but by comparing it to other prototypes of its kind, it is possible to get a small idea… In the manner of TPMS, sensors judiciously placed throughout the tire will be able to analyze all aspects of driving. From the angle of the vehicle to the ambient temperature, they will then be able to communicate this data to the intelligent ABS system, which will be able to adapt to road conditions.
As promised by other manufacturers such as Continental, sensors will likely be used to check tread and rubber wear. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises, whether it’s a flat tire or simply a premature tire change.
While some technologies take decades to reach the market, Goodyear seems confident that they will win the intelligent tires race within a few years. And thanks to a promising partnership, they may even be right!