Modern Tire Technology

If you compare tires from today and yesteryear, there aren’t a lot of obvious differences. Radial tires have been popular since the 1960’s and are still a staple of the automotive tire industry.

Developments in Tire Safety

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However, with advances in modern tire technology, there are a lot of innovations that are happening behind the scenes to help make our travels safer and more economical. Sensors are being included on car tires that monitor the pressure, conditions, and how the tires are managing the road.

Here’s more on this topic:

Tires are part of a push to use technology to increase car safety. A system known as “Contact Area Information Sensing, ” or CAIS, includes a sensor attached to the interior wall of the tire that monitors how it interacts with the road’s surface. The system checks road conditions to distinguish among dry, wet, slush, fresh snow or ice, and sends that real-time information to the driver via a digital screen.

Tire manufacturers are also looking to take CAIS technology a step further by enabling it to share information with other vehicles similarly wired, which would allow your car to anticipate actions from the car in front. CAIS may eventually provide information on tread wear and work with air pressure sensors to communicate air pressure data.

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Tire pressure monitoring systems have been a mandated part of the auto industry in the U.S. since 2008. One of the tipping points was the Firestone recall in the late 1990’s where more than 100 deaths were linked to rollovers following tread separation, which was thought partially due to under-inflated tires.

Taking automotive technology to the next level is the embedded tire sensors that provide not only the tire pressure levels but also the internal temperature, surface temperature, tread depth, road conditions, and much more.

This video provides a deeper look at these silent sensors:

Not only are these tire sensors going to help save lives but like some other sources of clean energy like solar and wind,  they have the capability of producing their own energy. It’s referred to as “energy harvesting”, which is the process by which energy is derived from external sources, and rolling tires are included in this category.

The potential of tires that help monitor conditions is going to be a component of driverless cars. Because these autonomous vehicles have technologies that allow them to communicate with one another and with their surroundings,  including the repair shop when they need maintenance, the health and status of the tires are no different.

The design of tires may also change, as mentioned in this post:

In addition to all the technologies, we’ll also likely see a change in tire design. One of the most mind-bending ideas of what the future might hold is Goodyear’s Eagle- 360, which was unveiled in 2016 at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Rather than round and black, the Eagle- 360 is a sphere. Why? Goodyear says the spherical shape is key to delivering ultimate maneuverability, allowing for a smooth ride.

To connect with the body of the car, the tire would rely on magnetic levitation. In other words, the tire would be suspended from the car by magnetic fields, similar to magnetic levitation trains, thereby increasing passenger comfort and reducing noise.

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If the above vision of tires becomes a reality, it will indeed change the way San Antonio repair shops and tire retailers manage their customers.  As a car owner, it will also drastically change going on a road trip.