Michelin has announced pioneering plans to equip all its new car tyres with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips by 2023. Continuing its long history in the development of tyre-orientated RFID technology (including the global launch of a truck tyre RFID solution in 2012) Michelin says up to 1.5 million RFID-equipped car tyres will be delivered as early as 2020.
It isn’t news to say that the tyre and autocentre sector is becoming an increasingly technological business. However, two recent trends confirm the need for garages to be properly equipped – increasing electric vehicle take-up and, in the short term, booming MOT demand.
In January 2019, we predicted a 5 per cent increase in MOTs during the course of the year. One calculation suggested this would work out as 2.6 million extra MOT tests during 2019, which equates to something like 50 extra MOTs per site per month. The latest DVSA numbers suggest that MOTs actually went up by an estimated 6.2 per cent last year, rising from 29.560 million in 2018 to 31.405 million last year. So far DVSA have only released data relating to the first nine months of 2019, so the final figure could go down, but in all likelihood it now looks like 5 per cent was a conservative estimate.
Bridgestone has bought iTrack, which provides tyre management solutions for the off-the-road (OTR) market, from UK-based Transense Technologies Plc. All employees of the iTrack Solutions business will join Bridgestone as part of the acquisition. No financial details have been released.
Durham City Transit Company (DCTC) and Tyrata, Inc., have completed a test and evaluation protocol trialling Tyrata’s Drive-Over System (DOS) and data analytics. The solid-state DOS automatically collects and analyzes tyre tread depth as buses drive over the low-profile, speedbump-like sensor.
Goodyear has entered three-year tyre partnership with Maxi Haulage Ltd. As part of this deal, Maxi Haulage will be supplied with premium tyres from the KMAX GEN-2 range, and be supported by TruckForce, under the Goodyear Total Mobility offering.
Michelin is teaming up with AS 24, the HGV service station network that fuel company Total runs in 28 countries across Europe, to launch a new automatic tyre inspection service – Fleet Diag 24. The partners will launch their diagnostic offer in March. The rollout begins in a small way, with Fleet Diag 24 initially offered at just three sites in France, however, we can expect to see it introduced at many more of the 986 AS 24 outlets in the UK and Europe.
Goodyear Tyres will support TJ Transport Ltd with a five-year partnership, the company announced on 8 January 2020. Goodyear Proactive Solutions and Goodyear OMNITRAC S D MSTII will be used on the full TJ Transport Ltd fleet.
FineLine Technologies Inc. has acquired Consolidated Printing Inc., a leading provider of printed tickets for professional and collegiate sporting events and major entertainment and event venues throughout the United States. The acquisition marks FineLine’s strategic entry into event management, an industry in which the company can leverage its advanced data management and RFID capabilities to improve complex ticketing processes.
The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has announced the completion of a digital tyre tracking trial. Conducted with TRA member Fraser Evans & Sons Ltd and technology partner PragmatIC. The trial used Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. The tags were fixed to the tyre by the collector, who assigned them to their future use, for example retreading or reprocessing. These tags are designed remain attached to the tyre right through to its end-of-life and the data they contain is accessed using a handheld scanner, which reads the unique RFID.
Transense Technologies Plc, which provides sensors systems to the industrial, mining and transportation markets, is pleased to announce that “a customer” has placed an order for 50 iTrack II units for installation in mines in North America.
Phillip K Dick may well have been thinking far further into the future than the current popularisation of electric cars when he wrote his famous novella “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, however the rise of big data alongside electric and autonomous vehicles means the most advanced cars of today have an increasing amount in common with the artificial intelligence in the source material for the film Blade Runner.
The industrialisation of big data has been progressing quickly in recent years within the automotive segment. TPMS sensor technology and the networks they feed data into have enabled increasingly sophisticated software systems to be created to use the massive amount of data we are now able to collect more effectively. Such systems are also able to increase the business applications of another technology, radio-frequency identification, or RFID, helping commercial tyre distribution chains to increase cost, time, and safety efficiency as well as accuracy in their collection of data. Steve Daly, commercial director of CAM, the provider of e-jobsheet, TiDaeX, and the Online Tyre Catalogue, told Tyres & Accessories about the opportunities RFID is now unlocking, and how future, more affordable reading technology could increase the reach of these gains.