Future of Tyres in a Tech World of A.I and 3-D Printing
The motor industry has become one of the fastest changing industries spurred on by the digital revolution. With a growing focus on environmental issues and the introduction of electric and autonomous vehicles, the tyre industry is keeping the wheels turning in this regard by coming up with exciting and innovative ways to integrate tyre manufacture with on-board technology, according to Australian tyre expert and recycler, Chris Lett.
Since 2013 most tyre manufacturers have placed RFID chips in their tyres to help keep track of stock. The focus now is on how to use this platform commercially by offering consumers critical information on tyre issues such as tyre pressure, tread depth and areas of stress.
“On-board computers transmitting real-time data will radically enhance the safety and efficiency of the vehicle,” says Lett. “It will also do away with the need for physical tyre examinations by communicating all vital information directly itself. When it comes to owners of large fleets, this will become very cost effective.”
What the Future Holds
After 15 years keeping the wheels turning with Branigans Tyres, Lett has learned to keep abreast of developments in tyre manufacture. Looking into the current plans of the big names in the industry, he has found their major focus to be on technology like sensors, 3-D printing, and Artificial Intelligence. Scanning the leading manufacturers he found all have their own changes in mind , all of which could radically change tyres as we know them.
He said Michelin and GM have collaborated to produce an airless and flat-proof tyre by 2024, naming it Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System). And they are not alone, nor is the concept of letting the tyre itself take the burden of punctures. Continental, Hankook, Pirelli and Michelin have already produced a tyre that can self seal a puncture by releasing a fluid around the leak.
3-D Printing Makes its Entry
With the entry of 3D-printing into the vehicle industry, Lett said it was to be expected use of it would spread to tyres sooner or later. Michelin has gone for the “sooner” option and is currently working on its Visionary Concept, a 3-D printed tyre made from organic and recyclable materials which will have printable retreads, and the ability to deliver information to the driver through on-board sensors.
Continental is meanwhile focusing on a self-inflating tyre known as Conti C.A.R.E (Connected, Autonomous, Reliable, Electrified), with built-in sensors to continually gather and send critical information about the tyres to the company’s live center, where an operator will remotely manage the tyre condition. And at the same time Goodyear is talking about reCharge concept and personalized tyres aimed at electric vehicles. These are planned to be totally biodegradable and able to self-regenerate and self-charge as well as reload or change their tread thanks to A.I assistance and a capsule filled with a tailor made liquid compound based on individual needs.
Bridgestone, which, according to Lett, has been using Artificial Intelligence in manufacturing since 2016 in the form of Smart Strain Sensor Technology to ensure uniformity and increase production output, has developed methods whereby the driver can be alerted by a sensor to any problems with other vehicles on the road, as well as monitor its own tyres, even at low speeds.
Branigans Budget Tyres specializes in secondhand tyres and stocks brand new tyres at competitive prices. For further information, visit or call Chris and his team for Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres Service Centre at Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.
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