It won’t read you the daily news but it will keep you safe.
The capabilities of wireless connectivity is spreading in the automotive industry. Mobile phone connectivity has become relatively common place, allowing you to listen to your favorite hit album from yesteryear, or navigating to your destination. That said, the area of wireless vehicle dynamics has seen relatively little innovation until now.
Pirelli now has a tire that can send valuable data about road conditions and other metrics to your car and other motorists closeby. The Italian manufacturer’s cyber tire features a coin-sized disc inside which houses a sensor, processor, and communication electronics. This disc monitors critical metrics and sends them to the car’s ECU and others in close proximity.
If your car hydroplanes across a puddle, it can help prevent you from crashing but also alert other motorists behind you that danger lies ahead. In the event the tire experiences these adverse conditions it can tell the car to adjust engine mapping, traction control, or even suspension settings. The tire will also be able to monitor less critical information such as tread depth, tire pressure, tire temperature, and multi-axis acceleration.
While the cyber tire is aimed at road use, Pirelli fitted the sensor units inside a set of super sticky P-Zero Trofeo tires. Fitted to an Audi A8 in a closed race track test, the tires successfully detected a wet patch and transmitted the information to a Q8 following close behind. The Q8 received the message over a 5g connection before reaching the wet patch.
While the cyber tire technology hasn’t been fully road implemented, it is being used today in the trucking industry. The technology saves a massive amount of time for truck mechanics checking tire pressures, as they know exactly which tires to fill and which ones to ignore. Long-term road testing remains to be seen, but the cyber tire looks to be a step in the right direction for road safety.