How tread-moulded sensors are revolutionising tyres

We’re hearing a lot about intelligence these days, mainly the artificial kind that may or may not mimic a human brain and has been described as an existential threat to humankind.

On a less scary level, the word is also used to describe electronic systems aimed at collecting and using information, simply to make cars better.

Supplier giant Goodyear and innovative engineering firm ZF have announced a collaboration involving two developments: Goodyear’s Sightline intelligent tyre system and ZF’s Cubix, a kind of software-based chassis control overlord.

Sightline’s technology can detect an impending event, such as aquaplaning or that a wheel is about to lock due to lack of grip, through sensors in the tyre that can minutely monitor its behaviour. Existing systems like ABS sensors, which detect wheel rotation speeds, can only indicate something is amiss after it has started happening.

Goodyear has been working on data-gathering tyres for a while and showed its IntelliGrip concept tyre at the 2016 Geneva motor show. In 2021, it announced that Sightline was being offered to cargo van fleet operators.

Even then, it said it had amassed millions of development miles through pilot programmes, predicting a “connected tyre future” and its mission to have tyre intelligence in all its new products by 2027.

So Sightline and the collaboration with ZF is no flash in the pan.

Goodyear’s system is driven by small sensors moulded onto the inside of the tyre tread and the data they collect can be picked up on board before being relayed to the cloud. That opens up loads of possibilities, including sharing information with other cars about road surface conditions, as well as monitoring tread wear.

ZF’s Cubix, meanwhile, is a software boss that controls all the chassis actuators in the car, effectively networking all the chassis functions, such as steering, rear axle steering, damping brakes and propulsion system. ZF said in 2020 that Cubix will usher in “a new level of vehicle control”.

Now that it is being hooked up with Sightline, the chassis can be ready to react to whatever is coming up front. One example is picking up aquaplaning as it’s developing, then checking speed to prevent it from getting worse.

If full-on aquaplaning occurs, Cubix can configure the chassis to stabilise the car based on information relayed from individual tyres. Aside from emergencies, Goodyear says the dynamic duo of Sightline and Cubix is aimed at improving responsiveness, making steering more linear and direct with improved turn-in and increased stability.

The system should also minimise unwanted intrusive interventions by vehicle stability systems by being able to interpret what’s happening to the car more accurately.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top