Presentation: Intelligent tyre trends, testing and legislative requirements

Read our expert's opinions on the intelligent tyre market, and download an exclusive presentation from TireTech 2017.

Smithers Rapra experts Gary Crutchley, Dean Tener and Dan Rogers provide an overview of intelligent tyres, testing requirements and market growth. 

Gary Crutchley's presentation on "Intelligent Tyre Market Trends" is available to download via the form below.

The intelligent tyre market will grow from zero (excluding a few pilot programmes and prototypes) to 414 million units worldwide by 2025.

Smithers Rapra

What is an intelligent tyre?

An intelligent tyre has sensing and communication technology added to the tyre itself at the manufacturing stage. This technology helps the tyre go beyond sensing and communication, to include responses relating to parameters such as temperature, load, tread wear, speed, and traction.

These responses will then be used to optimise the vehicle’s performance via feedback to vehicle control systems.

How does the material usage in intelligent tyres differ to regular tyres?

The material requirements for intelligent tyres will not be significantly different to those of a conventional tyre. What will be different will be the number of sensors within the structure of the tyre. Several sensors are likely to be required for temperature, traction, load, abrasion etc., together with other technologies such as self-inflation.

How will testing programmes change in order to meet the requirements of intelligent tyres?

Testing for tyre sensors falls into several areas:

  1. Sensor accuracy. Does the intelligent tyre provide quality information?  This must be confirmed by laboratory or on vehicle testing.
  2. Sensor durability. How long will the sensor continue to operate when subjected to typical service conditions, e.g. potholes, temperature extremes, tyre distortion during cornering?  Consumer expectations will be that the sensor should outlast the tyre itself.
  3. Tyre endurance. Government mandated tests of endurance are required for legal sale of tyres.   Any sensor buried within the tyre material itself, have potential for affecting the results of tyre endurance tests. 
What legislation currently covers intelligent tyres?

Currently, there is no legislation in the United States which affects intelligent tyres.  The closest legislative requirement relates to Tyre Pressure Monitoring, or TPMS. This has been in effect in the United States, since September, 2007. It should be noted that the method of sensing low inflation pressure is left to the vehicle manufacturer. Indirect methods can infer tyre inflation pressure without need for a sensor. This is accomplished by comparing rotational speeds of the vehicle tyres. If one tyre rotates more frequently in a given distance than the other tyres, it is likely to be underinflated.

How will the intelligent tyre market evolve between now and 2025?

We expect that intelligent tyre development will accelerate rapidly between now and 2025, with the rate of market growth exceeding that on the conventional tyre market. In the passenger car tyre sector the need for development will be driven strongly by the vehicle OEM’s, although legislation and the coming of autonomous vehicles could have a significant impact. 

The commercial sector will grow at a slower rate than passenger car tyres. Intelligent tyres in this sector will incorporate technologies to assist with vehicle fleet management, requiring systems to monitor tyre life and enable self-inflation for example. 

The intelligent tyre market will grow from zero (excluding a few pilot programmes and prototypes) to 414 million units worldwide by 2025.

This growth will help intelligent tyres ramp up to a level of nearly 15% of total global tyres by 2025. This may seem to be a modest forecast; but Smithers Rapra market research shows the growth will be much higher in market segments such as passenger cars and in OE tyres, where they will first appear and have the most impact during the first part of the forecast period.

The immediate reason intelligent tyres will soon become a reality has to do with the political imperatives of CO2 emissions mitigation, and the related economic significance of high fuel costs.

Intelligent tyre technologies are coming of age in an environment where vehicle OEMs are looking at every available means of meeting stricter emissions targets and fuel economy standards, and where tyre manufacturers are under pressure from OEMs to contribute meaningfully to these efforts; while meeting pressures of their own, as they research new tyre materials and technologies designed to reduce rolling resistance, without compromising safety or performance.

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