Are truly intelligent tyres coming soon? Part Two

In Part One of this article, we reported on an ingenious driving system that’s in the pipeline — a gas jet that automatically blasts away surface water to prevent aquaplaning. This time, we’ll look at another clever development that centres on the tyre itself.

Japanese tyre giant Yokohama has teamed up with mapping and software company Zenrin to develop the next stage in smart tyres, featuring an advanced pressure monitoring system.

OK, at first sight, pressure monitoring is nothing to get exciting about. After all, it’s been around forever, and it’s a standard feature on plenty of vehicles. What’s new this time, however, is how the sensors will be used. By incorporating GPS within the sensor and connecting it to the cloud, it will be able to relay information about tyre temperature and pressure back to a central location. What this means is that problems with tyres can be detected in real time and maintenance, such as tyre replacement, scheduled immediately.

Right now, that may be limited help to private motorists, but Yokohama and Zenrin are thinking ahead to the next stage of vehicle development. Transport is evolving rapidly towards vehicle-sharing services and MAAS (mobility as a service), and that will involve new models of tyre maintenance and repair.

For example, let’s say that in a few years, you’re living in a large city where the transport services are pretty advanced. Instead of owning your own car, you rely on ride-sharing services. When you want to go anywhere, you use your smartphone app and an autonomous, driverless vehicle whisks you off to your destination. And all this all sounds dandy… until one of your vehicle’s tyres loses pressure. A driverless system means there’s no one there to report the problem, let alone fix it.

Here’s where the Yokohama-Zenrin system scores. The pressure sensor would detect the problem and alert the tyre services to the vehicle’s location. Even better, the system could potentially allow minor problems to be detected before they develop into major ones, making roads safer.

That’s for a few years down the line, but the system could also be applicable right now for logistics companies. They already use a fair bit of driver telemetry, and this system would seem to fit right in.

Anyway, before any of  that happens, they have to get the product to market. As things stand, the companies are testing the sensors’ durability and how it functions in real-world conditions. If the system takes off, it could be a nice little earner for Yokohama.

Whatever the automotive future brings…

…BK Tyres hopes to be a part of it, bringing you the same great service, advice, choice of products and competitive prices.

And with that, we’ll wish all of our readers and customers a fantastic Christmas. See you in 2022!

The BK Tyres blog covers a wide range of topics related to tyres and driving.

For mobile tyre repairs and replacement tyres at competitive prices, contact BK Tyres. We can fit tyres at your place of work or at your home.