Car tire technology may be advancing right along with the new autonomous and electric vehicles those tires are beginning to support.
The intelligent tires should be an upgrade from basic tire pressure monitoring systems that the majority of tire makers currently build into their products. Goodyear’s tires will be able to communicate directly with the car owner in an effort to make tire maintenance much easier.
Each tire comes equipped with a disc-shaped sensor acting as that tire’s gauge and information liaison between itself and the driver. These sensors constantly track the tires’ temperature and pressure, relaying that information through an app connected to Goodyear’s cloud-based algorithms. The sensors can suggest tire preservation options such as adding air to, rotating, or replacing the tires.
“Tires are a mystery for most people, but if we can simplify how to properly maintain them or help make replacing them easier, that’s an area we can add value,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer.
The Goodyear and Tesloop partnership is only meant as a test of the technology for now. Goodyear officials have not given any timeline to when the intelligent tires will come to mass market.
As part of their assessment plan with Tesloop, Goodyear officials have promised to provide tire maintenance and repair while Tesloop vehicles are at charging stations.
“When you are operating cars nearly 24/7/365, minimizing tire incidents is critical to the customer experience and the business model,” said Rahul Sonnad, Tesloop’s CEO. “The possibilities for data-driven tire diagnostics are remarkable and promise to help a business like Tesloop operate more efficiently and make our vehicles the safest on the road.”
When the intelligent tires do surface in the mass consumer market, Goodyear officials predict the product will most likely cost more than the average car tire. In addition, it may be some time before new cars will roll out of manufacturer garages with the new smart tires already mounted.
“There’s a lot of learning to be done, and we’ll refine what we’ll eventually bring to market,” Helsel said. “In the end, though, these will be affordable as we push for better fuel economy and longer-lasting tires.”