What are the implications of autonomous driving on tire design?

Dean Tener, Smithers Business Development Manager, discusses the future of tire performance expectations in light of the new trend in autonomous vehicle development at the upcoming Clemson Tire Conference.

autonomous vehicle development and the future of tire designAutonomous vehicles bring a myriad of changes to the vehicle and how drivers will interact with it. Vehicles will gradually see a change to more electric powertrains, which bring higher torque to the drive axle and tires. As advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology is improved and shifts more control of the vehicle from the driver to the vehicle computer, interactions with the road will change. Driving habits will change. Performance perceptions will change.

“Working in vehicle dynamics, you try to anticipate how tires will react to driver actions,” states Tener, Business Development Manager – Tire Testing at Smithers Rapra. “You’re trying to account for what a driver will do in a wide variety of situations while providing safety and the best performance possible. Self-driving vehicles will act and react differently, which presents some challenges for tire designers.”

The Clemson Tire Conference has been bringing the tire industry together annually since 1985 and will be held from April 13-15, 2016 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa in Hilton Head, SC.

Tener’s presentation, “Tire Design and Selection Implications for Autonomous Vehicles,” is included in Session 3: Tire Industry Outlook: Regulatory, Legislative, and Economic on April 14 from 8:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. This presentation will cover a variety of potential considerations for the design and selection of tires used in self driving vehicles and how tire performance can meet changing expectations.

Since 2013, Dean has served as the Technical Manager of Smithers Rapra’s Ravenna Tire Testing Laboratory, Tener worked with clients with expertise in Force and Moment (F&M) and Plysteer Residual Aligning Torque (PRAT) testing as well as tire modeling.

Tener has over 30 years of experience in the research, design and testing sectors of the automotive industry. Prior to joining Smithers, Tener was Senior Test Engineer for General Motors Tire/Wheel Systems.  Tener has also held the role of Senior Engineer for Honda R&D Americas, where he led the CAE simulation for predicting vehicle steering, handling, ride and low-frequency vibrations. He has also spent time in tire development at Bridgestone / Firestone where he served as Technical Manager for the vehicle systems group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron.

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