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Are Intelligent Tires the Next Big Thing?

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author photo by Lindsay Martell September 2017

Smart phones? Of course. Smart cars? YES. Intelligent tires? Um, what..?

If you're like most people, you probably don't think about your tires until you get a flat, or you happen to do the penny test and realize your tires are dangerously bald. Time to start thinking about these often-ignored, yet incredibly important car components. Now think of having a Fitbit-like device for your tires.

Goodyear Has The Smarts

Leave it to the folks at Goodyear (in parternship with a city-to-city mobility service by the name of Tesloop) to introduce wireless sensors in its tires to improve overall tire management and maximize uptime on Tesloop's fleet of Tesla electric vehicles.

Goodyear has equipped Tesloops' EVs with a kind of smart tire that has built-in wireless sensors to measure and record data for enhanced efficiency, performance and safety. The sensors continuously measure and record tire temperature and pressure, which is paired with other vehicle data and connected to Goodyear's cloud-based proprietary systems to boost overall fleet operations and predict when the tires need to be serviced or replaced. No more penny tests, folks.

The mobility service operates a number of Teslas that average up to 17,000 miles per vehicle, per month. Its highest-mileage vehicle, a Tesla Model S, recently exceeded 300,000 service miles. Goodyear has been working with Tesloop since January to study the effect of autonomous technologies on tires. It's a parternship that makes a lot of sense when it comes to creating smart tires.

The Next Gen of Tires

"We want to build the future, not just observe or read about it," said Chris Helsel, Goodyear's chief technology officer. "As the new mobility ecosystem continues to take shape, we are taking steps to match the pace of technical change in the transportation industry and develop tire innovations that meet the intelligence of the vehicles riding on them."

And it's not just a fleet of Teslas getting in on the intelligent tire action: Goodyear is also working with automakers to provide tire information to vehicle control systems as a way to jumpstart performance and enhance safety.

As the buzz around autonomous vehicles continues to hum, intelligent tires makes smart sense.

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Are Intelligent Tires the Next Big Thing? - Autotrader