Image: University of Michigan

Goodyear plans to extend its research into ‘intelligent’ connected, sensor-equipped tires and will carry out testing with electric and autonomous vehicles at the Mcity Test Facility [pictured]. Mcity, a public-private partnership led by the University of Michigan, has a 16-acre site of roads and traffic infrastructure for testing connected and automated technologies in simulated urban and suburban environments.

“To generate mobility solutions involving tires – and even beyond tires – we are actively working with key players to shape the future for autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing fleets, and the activity at Mcity will help us get there even faster,” Goodyear CTO Chris Helsel said in a statement. Huei Peng, Mcity director and a professor of mechanical engineering at U-M, added: “Even as we test and plan for future forms of mobility, we acknowledge the critical role of tires in evolving forms of transportation.”

At the Geneva motor show in spring 2018, Goodyear showcased a tire prototype with a complete information system including sensors and cloud-based algorithms. This combines to continuously communicate in real-time with fleet operators via a mobile app, promising cost efficiencies and reduced vehicle downtimes. Data is transmitted and shared on tire ID and status, including wear, temperature and pressure.

Chris Delaney, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained: “As shared mobility continues to grow in popularity, we are seeing applications where kilometres driven per vehicle will increase substantially in the years ahead. For shared fleet operators, proactively managing tire service issues is critical to both the customer experience and the business model.”

-Farah Alkhalisi