Geneva Motor Show is Paris Fashion Show of cars. This is where all the heavyweights and low weights of the car industry showcase their latest offerings. Geneva Motor Show is not just about hypercars and super saloons that make their way to the show, many other introductions occur at the Motor Show.
While car engine gives power, a tyre is something it rolls. The Italian tyre maker, Pirelli has introduced a new tyre called ‘Pirelli Connesso’ which is essentially a smart tyre. It’s part of Pirelli’s ‘Cyber Car’ technology. With Internet of Things on the rise, everything is connected and now even tyres will be connected to it.
The idea of the cyber car – more accurately the cyber tyre – is that each tyre contains a sensor that records not just internal pressure, like regular tyre pressure monitors, but temperature, vertical load, wear and location.
Why’s that useful? Well, for a start, the Tyre can recognize when it’s cold, and likely to be slippery, and tell the car’s stability control and ABS to switch to a winter setting. Fine. But a car’s thermostat can do the same job.
The tyre can go further, though. If it knows the vertical load going through it – and the pressure – it can work out the circumference of the tyre. This helps the car itself give a more accurate range indication – especially in electric cars, where the battery range can fluctuate wildly if tyres aren’t in good condition.
But Pirelli’s really developing this with one eye on the future, for cars that aren’t really intended to have drivers at all. Think about the scenario of hailing a driverless taxi pod. There’s no human pilot to check the car’s vital stats, so the autonomous ‘car of tomorrow’ will have to maintain itself.
If the tyre can tell the car it’s getting dangerously worn, suffering from low pressure or a puncture, it’ll know not to head off into service. And one of our glorious robot overlords can be dispatched to fix it.
Pirelli says the tech is currently being tested with a number of car-makers, from EV makers and standard production cars to high-performance applications. The data used to invent this tyre has been harvested from lessons learned with Ferrari’s wild FXXK track-only special.
The Italians admit there’ll be a cost implication for these super-techy new tyres, but thinks that can be offset when the likelihood of blowouts, breakdowns and fines for worn tyres becomes a forgotten concern.
William has years of experience in motoring industry and has done a degree in IT. He is currently working with German car tech who offer Car services repair & recondition engines for German vehicles in UK. Blogging helps William share his experiences and familiarity with others.
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