ETI developing ‘smart’ TPMS at MIRA

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is to invest £200,000 in the first stage of four-month project which aims to develope smart tyre pressure system (commonly called TPMS) at MIRA. According to the two parties, the project aims to help increase the fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of all heavy duty land vehicles that use pneumatic tyres.

The specifically project aims to develop and demonstrate a commercially viable automated system that will realise potential fuel savings of up to 8 per cent across the UK HDV land fleet by 2020. The system will be low cost to install and operate, will feature automatic control to eliminate driver intervention and save the owners and operators of heavy duty vehicles significant costs as well as reducing carbon emissions.

In the first stage of the Rolling Resistance Optimisation System (RROS) project, the Nuneaton-based organisation will identify and evaluate potential technological solutions suitable for a wide range of heavy duty vehicles, including lorries, construction and agricultural vehicles.

A follow-on project could see the ETI invest an additional £750,000 to further develop and demonstrate the most promising technologies.

It is planned that a set of tyres will be produced for a demonstration Caterpillar 725 Articulated Truck that is being built as part of the ETI’s Heavy Duty Vehicle Efficiency programme.

Deborah Stubbs, ETI Project Manager said: “Operating tyres at the correct pressure is critical to both the safe and efficient operation of a vehicle but the correct pressure can be different depending on the ground contact conditions and the type of road surface.

“The aim of this project is to design, develop and demonstrate an innovative system that can optimise the tyre operating pressure for any given condition which will help to increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by around 8% and can be suitable for existing vehicles.”

Jim Hopton, Chief Engineer at Horiba MIRA added: “Horiba MIRA brings an independent technology view to the project with the aim of finding the right technology to achieve the identified goals. This type of project could only be progressed by an umbrella organisation such as the ETI whose goals are not primarily commercial.”

The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government.

The role of the ETI is to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. To this end ETI makes “targeted commercial investments” in nine technology programmes across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.

Government representation is through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with funding channelled through Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council who also sit on the ETI board. The Department of Energy and Climate Change are observers on the ETI board.

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