Clever tyres – how tyres, TPMS and RFID are combining

Clever tyres or intelligent tyres? With several manufacturers working on intelligent tyre concepts, cars and rubber are becoming more and more connected. (Continental's Intelligent Tyre System is pictured)

After a century of development, tyres are getting cleverer than ever. Now they are beginning to think for themselves – or at least feed back information automatically. For much of the history of tyres, research and development focused on materials, compounds, construction and processes – all things that have brought tyre technology to where it is today and will take it through tomorrow and beyond. What’s different now is that in the last couple of years we have seen the rise of “clever” tyres, intelligent tyres, even cyber-tyres – call them what you will. The point is that these products are seeking to transform the tyre from being a passive component that runs fine as long it has tread remaining, is cared for correctly and avoids sharp objects. Now it is becoming an active part of modern connected vehicles, providing feedback as to the tyre’s type, state and even environmental conditions. All this is exchanged with the vehicle’s on-board computers in order to optimise performance. In the case of passenger cars this means sharing such data with ABS and ESP, helping the car “feel” the road and conditions.

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