The Hankook Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Preciseley Microtechnology Corp, a global specialist in optical MEMS (micro-electromechanical solutions) systems. In making the acquisition, Hankook is seeking synergies with complementary technologies to generate new business and growth opportunities. The most immediately obvious of these is Preciseley Microtechnology’s optical automotive applications for 3D environment detection.
Continental has acquired a minority stake in Israel-based start-up Feelit Technologies Ltd. The investment took place as part of a round of Series A Funding valued at US$7 million, however, the exact amount of Continental’s holding hasn’t been disclosed. Continental anticipates that this new relationship with Feelit will benefit several business areas.
Falken Tyre’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has successfully developed technology that generates electric power from tyre rotation and supplies this to peripheral tyre sensors. The company says that this marks a major leap towards achieving Sensing Core Technology applications that will be instrumental in enabling future mobility trends.
Wheely-Safe has launched a new generation of open platform systems, making its intelligent tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), wheel loss and brake temperature sensing technologies available for sale by tyre distributors and dealers for the first time. The new systems can connect to vehicle telematics and CAN bus directly and are offered alongside the brand’s standalone products. Wheely-Safe says the launch is part of its biggest series of upgrades to date. The new technologies include an auto-calibrating internal TPMS sensor – which it claims is a world first – that eliminates the need for external valve sensors. The sensor is suitable for “all vehicle types” Wheely-Safe says, including cars, commercial vehicles, and plant machinery.
Bridgestone Corporation has developed a technology that estimates axle load and tyre wear via a sensor affixed inside a tyre. This newly-developed sensor measures the change in strain that occurs when a moving tyre comes into contact with the road. Bridgestone claims its Smart Strain Sensor technology is unique and the “first of its kind in the world.”
Yokohama Rubber has teamed up with Alps Alpine to conduct research and development into CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric) compliant sensors for passenger car tyres. The tyre maker chose to partner with the Japanese electronics specialist as, in addition to experience in sensor development, Alps Alpine possesses system design and software development capabilities that Yokohama anticipates will deliver synergies to its new tyre business model.
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.
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.