ZF & Maxion partner on Smart Wheel Connectivity System

combines Maxion Wheels’ MaxSmart wheel sensor technology with ZF Openmatics’ integrated TAG sensor platform

ZF Openmatics and Maxion Wheels claim a world first with their jointly-developed Smart Wheel Connectivity System. This fully-integrated wheel sensor system can track, analyse key data such as tyre pressure, temperature, wheel load and other wheel and tyre performance metrics and then broadcast this data to drivers, fleet operators, mobility providers and infrastructure authorities. The solution is suitable for use with a variety of vehicle types, including commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery.

“ZF has the benefit of years of experience with wireless communication like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy),” comments Thomas Rösch, managing director ZF Openmatics. “We are now combining this expertise with that of Maxion to create the world’s first fully-integrated battery-powered Wheel TAG sensor that adds important functionalities beyond tyre pressure monitoring. The benefits of real-time wheel monitoring solutions are being extended to tyre life and optimal tyre performance. This is another step in the direction of enhancing road safety, driving comfort and cost-efficiency.”

“As a result of the unique load sensor attached to the wheel, the tyre and wheel information collected via the Smart Wheel Connectivity Solution will enable a variety of new safety and efficiency use and business cases,” said Pieter Klinkers, chief executive officer of Maxion Wheels. “By partnering with ZF Openmatics, we unite our wheel leadership with their intelligent sensor and telematics expertise. This lets us offer an integrated solution that will help prevent potentially dangerous and costly tyre and wheel-end failures, as well as provide drivers and fleet operators with critical vehicle performance data needed to optimise their business.”

The Smart Wheel Connectivity Solution combines Maxion Wheels’ MaxSmart wheel sensor technology with ZF Openmatics’ integrated TAG sensor platform. Mounted directly to each wheel rim of the vehicle, the durable Bluetooth tags track humidity, tyre temperature, air pressure and vehicle load as well as wheel position, speed and vibration across nine axes. Information is collected in real time and wirelessly transmitted to the vehicle’s telematics onboard unit before being transferred to the ZF Cloud. The data can then be read and analysed via PC, smart devices or sent to a third-party system of the customer’s choice. ZF and Maxion state that by fully integrating each different data sensor into one easy-to-use TAG, they offer “unparalleled, true 360° monitoring possibilities.”

This fully-integrated system can be installed on virtually all kinds of commercial vehicles and even in agricultural machinery. It provides unique, at-first-glance insights, helping to enhance road safety and decrease costs. This makes it highly valuable not only for fleet operators but also mobility providers for autonomous driving solutions.

The new partnership presented its first prototype during the 2019 IAA motor show. The goal is to complete the feasibility studies during the first half of 2020, followed by real-world testing and validation.

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