Japanese tyre manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has developed a solution to remotely monitor the tyre pressure of an unoccupied vehicle in preparation for the widespread deployment of self-driving mobility services.
In a crucial step towards ensuring the safety of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) at SAE Level 4 and above, SRI has successfully established links between its tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and an Autonomous Driving Control Centre. The new technology has the potential to support predictive maintenance to prevent flat tyres or other tyre condition concerns that may pose a risk to the safe operation of CAVs. It has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Adoption of NextGen Transportation Systems (CRANTS), which is based at Gunma University in Japan. Having worked together on joint research since May this year, links have now been established for communicating tyre data between a CAV and the Driving Control Centre at GRANTS.
The system works with an indirect TPMS mounted inside the tyre rim. This transmits pressure data to the onboard computer system via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which in turn transmits the data to the GRANTS control centre. The pressure of each individual tyre can be monitored from the control centre via a Data Management Display. The data links themselves were developed jointly with CRANTS and NTT Data Corporation. Moving forward, SRI will continue working to establish systems and services that anticipate and pre-empt vehicle problems caused by issues with tire pressure and condition.
This development is one of a number of technologies SRI is developing to achieve greater safety and performance while reducing environmental impact. Earlier this year it unveiled its Smart Tyre Concept, a suite of tyre technologies that provide greater fuel efficiency, increased tyre durability and improved safety while also being more environmentally friendly. As part of the Concept and in preparation for increased Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) options such as car and ride sharing, SRI is partnering with Japanese Internet of Things (IoT) developer TripodWorks Co Ltd and Taiwanese TPMS manufacturer Sysgration Ltd to create a cloud-based tyre monitoring service. The collaboration aims to establish global air pressure control service using IoT-based Direct TPMS sensors and other tyre data from various digital tools. SRI will continue to develop systems and services that anticipate and pre-empt issues that can result from inappropriate tyre pressure, wear or damage.