How tyre telematics maximise fleet efficiency: Conti
The augmentation of Continental’s tyre offer to commercial fleets with digital services is a natural focus for a corporation with divisions devoted to vehicle technology. For its commercial vehicle tyre business unit, the strategic route to solutions provider, matching the digital transformation of the transport industry, is a particularly clear one, with many of the newly available technologies to improve logistics performance already part of its corporate structure. The leading tyre and digital solutions provider is currently taking the ‘digital leap’ forward, increasing its innovative portfolio of digital capabilities to enhance efficiency across the commercial vehicle industry. This integration of tyre services into its truck and bus tyre business was signified with the establishment of Conti’s Fleet Solutions department in early 2019.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are just one of the many technologies to benefit from digitalisation. To maximise the potential of this technology and increase the efficiency of its ContiPressureCheck TPMS system, Continental has partnered with telematics specialist Microlise. Steve Howat, general manager – technical services, and Tony Stapleton, head of fleet sales, at Contintental Tyres UK explain the effects of tyre pressure on efficiency, the technology behind Continental’s connected system and the benefits that fleet customers can expect from the integration of telematics.
Steve Howat says: “Incorrect tyre pressure is one of the greatest causes of excessive tyre wear and leads to irregular wear patterns. This, in turn, reduces fleet performance and fuel efficiency, decreasing the tyre’s life and increasing running costs.
“An under-inflated tyre creates more rolling-resistance, meaning it takes more energy, and therefore fuel, to drive the vehicle. A tyre that is under-inflated by 20 per cent can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 per cent, costing the business a lot of money.
Tony Stapleton explains how digital solutions can help. “Digital solutions such as TPMS help to maintain the correct pressure via sensors fitted within the tyres and is a proven way to help lower fuel usage. The systems provide tyre fitters with accurate and invaluable information on the condition of the tyre, indicating how long it has been running underinflated and whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. Digitalised TPMS systems allow transport managers to make proactive decisions and prevent roadside breakdowns.
“ContiPressureCheck tyre pressure monitoring systems help operators accurately manage tyre pressures to provide the best possible fuel efficiency and work towards achieving Lowest Overall Driving Costs (LODC).
“The standard variant of ContiPressureCheck helps to maintain the correct tyre pressure via sensors fitted within the tyres, while an in-cab monitor displays pressure of individual tyres to the driver. ContiConnect Live builds on this solution, with the ability to notify truck and bus fleet operators immediately if there is a problem with tyre pressure, even when a vehicle is out on the road.”
So what benefits does integration with the Microlise platform offer? Steve Howat explains: “At Continental, we see a lot of untapped potential in digital technologies, connectivity and data to support efficiency and are continuously investing in new technologies. The recent partnership with Microlise has added a whole new dimension to ContiPressureCheck, integrating telematics to remove the need for input from the driver or fleet manager entirely.
“If the ContiPressureCheck TPMS system detects an issue with tyre pressure or temperature, it will transmit this information from sensors within the tyres to the Microlise platform, installed within the vehicle. At the same time, the driver is informed in the cab, with both an audible and visual alert. The Microlise platform relays the information to the Conti360° Fleet Services central office, complete with the issue type and vehicle location, before sending an alert to a local service provider. The service provider can then contact the fleet manager to arrange maintenance.”
Tony Stapleton adds: “By integrating telematics, any issues with tyre pressure or temperature are resolved far quicker than with a standalone TPMS system and downtime is kept to a minimum. At no point in this process does the driver or fleet manager need to take manual action, allowing them to focus on day-to-day business. This further increases fleet efficiency and supports operators in their goal to achieve Lowest Overall Driving Costs (LODC).
“With an advanced TPMS system of this kind, the vehicles are continuously connected and tyre pressures automatically monitored. Continental and Microlise’s solution is currently on trial with a fleet of commercial vehicles, and has already been proven as a viable and saleable concept.”