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The new McLaren Artura is the first production model equipped with sensors capable of communicating with the vehicle. The hybrid car of the English brand indeed releases Cyber Tire technology: a concept on which Pirelli has been working for at least 10 years. The first works started in collaboration with Brembo and Magneti Marelli. It is a connected tire that helps the driver to drive more efficiently and safely, thanks to a chip that transmits data analyzed by software on board the car. The system could be compared to the equivalent of a Vitale card for tires. It describes its category, specifies whether it is a winter or summer version, and includes key data such as prescribed pressure, load and speed index. The whole point of communication is to provide real-time information on the operation of the tire, in particular its temperature and pressure. The whole trick comes from the fact that the Pirelli sensors are in direct contact with the tire rather than the rims, which allows the driver warning systems to be calibrated according to the exact characteristics of the tires and their condition.
Adapt driving according to the condition of the tires
What is this Cyber Tire for? Drivers can be warned when the pressure needs to be checked (which conventional TPMS * sensors already do), but also if the maximum speed of the tire is reached (it is not the same depending on whether it is winter tires). or summer). It can also indicate when to swap envelopes depending on the season. These data are processed by software created by Pirelli and integrated into the vehicle’s electronics. In the case of the McLaren, Pirelli added features derived from the competition. It is as if the driver receives information by radio from his race engineer, as is done in F1 (where Pirelli is the tire supplier for the entire field). Thus, he can adapt the pressure of his tires to obtain better performance according to his own driving style. It can also be warned when the tires have reached an optimum temperature or when they need to be cooled.
* Tire Pressure Monitoring System, mandatory in Europe since November 1, 2014
Michelin has also created a connected tire for the circuits
Credit Photo – Michelin
Some will point out that Michelin has already been offering Track Connect since 2018. This solution was originally developed for the Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect, a tire designed for use on the circuit (this semi-slick is also approved for the road). With the addition of sensors, Bibendum tires collect data which is then read by a small box that must be connected by cable to the vehicle’s USB port and which will transmit the information to a mobile application that must be downloaded. The Michelin kit also includes a support to hold the smartphone. The advantage of this connected tire (intended for cars such as Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and even Tesla), is to be able to control the temperature and pressure in real time. In Expert mode, Michelin’s software can also give advice depending on the vehicle, the tires and the type of circuit. If a Motorsport mode is also available for those who compete, the Track Connect solution can also be used without having connected tires (but which must still be Pilot Sport Cups) in Leisure mode. In this case, the system allows you to time your lap, analyze your driving in a replay mode, share your achievements on social networks and even compare them with other drivers. We can therefore say that the approach is similar. However, Pirelli has the advantage of integrating its high-tech tire as original equipment.
Goodyear wants to democratize the concept
Credit Photo – Goodyear
The American brand has not yet launched a connected tire, but it is continuing its tests and has great ambitions. The author of these lines had the opportunity, three years ago, to try a chip developed by the German company Huf and which is integrated directly into the tire. The advantage of this equipment is to offer a more precise and real-time measurement of the pressure of each tire. The chip can also detect that a tire has reached the legal wear limit. And since this sensor is linked to Goodyear’s servers, it is even possible to determine what the life of each tire will be, depending on the driving style as long as the vehicle is connected. This is information that may be of interest to company fleet managers. Beyond tire pressure and wear, the chip retained by Goodyear could also interact with the on-board electronics and optimize, for example, dynamic behavior, or braking by sending data to the computers. In this regard, the American manufacturer estimates that connected tires could reduce braking distance by 30%. Note that Bridgestone has an agreement with Microsoft to process data from its tires in the cloud (wear, fatigue, deterioration). The system does not require additional equipment, as long as the vehicle uses the MCVP platform developed by the computer giant and used by Volkswagen, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault.
Tires emitting 5 G?
Credit Photo – Pirelli
Ultimately, the tires will make it possible to anticipate potentially dangerous situations such as loss of grip or aquaplaning. In this regard, we can point out the existence of “wet mode” on the Porche 911. Thanks to a sensor which “listens” to the rolling noise, and which can recognize the characteristic frequencies emitted by the spray of water raised by the wheels. tires, the on-board electronics can activate the driving aids earlier to remedy the loss of grip. The information will eventually pass through sensors on the tread. Anyway, the next step will be to connect the tires to a network with other vehicles (V2V) and the surrounding infrastructure (V2I) in order to increase its performance in terms of safety. Pirelli even anticipated the arrival of 5G. In 2019, he participated in a demonstration in Italy organized by the 5GAA association of which he is a member, in partnership with Audi, Ericsson and operator Tim. On the roof of the famous Lingotto, the building that houses Fiat’s headquarters in Turin, the tire manufacturer showed with its Cyber Tire how it was possible to warn other vehicles in a few milliseconds of the presence of slippery pavement. The C-V2X mode makes it possible to give the alert several hundred meters around.
The autonomous vehicle tire will be even more efficient
Credit Photo – Continental
The connected tire will be essential tomorrow on future autonomous vehicles. And it will perform even more functions. In 2019, at the last edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Continental unveiled a concept tire called Conti CARE (Connected, Autonomous, Reliable, Electrified). Not only was it connected, and linked to the ContiConnect Live application to monitor key data (temperature, pressure, potential damage and wear), but this tire also offered automatic pressure adjustment. It was indeed equipped with centrifugal pumps, present in the rim and storing compressed air, generated by the rotation of the wheels during acceleration. The German manufacturer then presented it as an ideal tool for a fleet of robot taxis.