It won’t read you the daily news but it will keep you safe.
The capabilities of wireless connectivity are spreading in the automotive industry. Mobile phone connectivity has become relatively common place, allowing you to listen to your favourite 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 tyre that can send valuable data about road conditions and other metrics to your car and other motorists closeby. The Italian manufacturer’s cyber tyre 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 tyre experiences these adverse conditions it can tell the car to adjust engine mapping, traction control, or even suspension settings. The tyre will also be able to monitor less critical information such as tread depth, tyre pressure, tyre temperature, and multi-axis acceleration.
While the cyber tyre is aimed at road use, Pirelli fitted the sensor units inside a set of super sticky P-Zero Trofeo tyres. Fitted to an Audi A8 in a closed race track test, the tyres 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 tyre 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 tyre pressures, as they know exactly which tyres to fill and which ones to ignore. Long-term road testing remains to be seen, but the cyber tyre looks to be a step in the right direction for road safety.