Around the globe, about 1.3 million lives claimed by car-related accidents in the year 2018, in which 35 per cent relate to tyre failure, which in perspective is 450 thousand people a year. Tyres being the most essential and overlooked part of a modern-day vehicle, where most people fail to realise that tyres require maintenance regularly for them to continue operating with maximum performance.
The Tyre Manufacturing industry is developing IoT connected Smart Tyres, which would help in curbing the death rate associated with negligence towards tyres and reduce the effects of any manufacturing defects.
The widely accepted current technology in vehicles is TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System), which seems to be useful, but it is not effective enough in detecting real-time punctures and give false readings in temperature extremes. In TPMS, sensors mount on to each wheel’s air valve, which measures the pressure at the valve and does not detect any physical changes in the tyre such as punctures, physical damages, vertical load, tread wear and other parameters.
Companies such as Continental and Pirelli have realised that the only component in a vehicle which is in contact with the ground and is the prime factor for manoeuvrability and control has ample data which can be extracted and analysed via IoT Connected sensors and software platforms. Further, this data can help in predicting tyre pressure according to the driving style of the operator, potential puncture that may otherwise take a few hours to be detected with the current system, tread wear pattern, individual tyre’s load and temperature. This also opens room for other parameters to be monitored for fine-tuning a vehicle’s stability control, braking, adaptive suspension and other systems. In this blog, we look over each of the company’s innovations and their improvements to the platform;
Continental Tyres has developed two new systems, ContiSense which monitors tread depth and tyre temperature and ContiAdapt which adapts the tyre tread as per road conditions.
ContiSense – is based on three layers, two conductive and one insulative. The conductive layer made of an electrically conductive rubber compounds that enable electric signals transmitted to a sensor mounted on the inside of the tyre to a receiver in the vehicle. Rubber-based sensors which continuously monitor both the parameters, temperature and pressures.
The measured values are consistently correlated with the predefined parameters and alert the driver once the tyre pressure has already begun to drop, which is much faster than the current system. In case of a puncture, it closes a circuit in the tyre, triggering an immediate warning for the driver. In economics terms, This technology can save thousands in revenue, which would be than lost in down-time due to punctures and lost time.
ContiAdapt – micro-compressors built into the wheel to adjust the tyre pressure with a variable-width rim. ContiAdapt can shapeshift to modify the size of contact patch which under different road conditions is a determining factor for comfort and safety. Depending on the requirements, the rim and tyre adapt any form, either be skinny or wide and can also inflate and deflate according to the surface.
They are multiple modes available in this system. In Eco mode, the tyre pressure is higher and the wheel contracts to skinny minimising the contact area and rolling friction. The other three mods end with a wide-rim and low-pressure tyre shape that produces lots of traction and would be suitable for off-road and slippery conditions.
Pirelli Connesso tyre– Pirelli developed an algorithm to use data from the integrated chip in its sidewall to estimate tyre pressure, temperature, wear, vertical load, and the no. of kilometre driven per tyre. It can also estimate remaining tyre life and act as a remote tyre pressure gauge. The chips connect to Pirelli Cloud and to a smartphone which continuously transmits data. The Connesso system recognises each tyres identification code which can track when it was manufactured and recycled.
It’s understood from the features we have seen above; we will be able to curb the no. of accidents caused due to incorrect tyre management. This technology is relatively new and has a broad economic scope in the industry, as this technology is only available in super and hyper vehicle segments and can be diversified for mass production for low to mid-range segments.
Author: Shiraz Hasan Zaidi