SRI: Remote TPMS to aid autonomous vehicles
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), the company behind the Falken tyre brand, has developed a solution to remotely monitor the tyre pressure of unoccupied vehicles such as self-driving cars. In a step towards ensuring the safety of Level 4 and above autonomous vehicles, SRI has successfully linked its tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) with an Autonomous Driving Control Centre.
The new technology has the potential to support predictive maintenance to prevent flat tyres or other tyre condition concerns that may pose a risk to the safe operation of autonomous vehicles. It has been developed in collaboration with the Center for Research on Adoption of NextGen Transportation Systems (GRANTS), which is based at Gunma University in Japan. Having worked together on joint research since May 2019, links have now been established for communicating tyre data between an autonomous vehicle and the Driving Control Centre at GRANTS.
The system works with a direct TPMS sensor mounted inside the tyre rim. This transmits pressure data to the onboard computer system via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which in turn transmits the data to the GRANTS control centre. The pressure of each individual tyre can be monitored from the control centre via a Data Management Display.
This development is one of a number of technologies SRI is developing to achieve greater safety and performance while reducing environmental impact. Earlier this year it unveiled the latest take on its Smart Tyre Concept, a suite of tyre technologies that provide greater fuel efficiency, increased tyre durability and improved safety while also being more environmentally friendly. SRI will continue to develop systems and services that anticipate and pre-empt issues that can result from inappropriate tyre pressure, wear or damage.