Self-driving cars also place completely new demands on tires. When the car is not under human control, it must be able to independently detect driving conditions, for example through sensors mounted on the tires.
- If there is no active driver in the car to ensure that the tires are safe to use, safety must be measured in some other way, says Mika Penttilä, Nokian Tires' Director of Digital Technology.
According to Nokian Tires' release, the information obtained from the tires is combined with, for example, weather information. In this way, the car's information system is able to form a picture of the prevailing driving conditions and adapt the driving to it.
“First of all, smart tires are becoming more common in electric cars, as they have large tires and a lot of sensors and links to the tires. It will happen in about five years, says Jukka Kasi, Product and Marketing Director of Nokian Tires.
Tire sensors can also monitor tire wear, pressure and tire interior temperature. For example, an increase in tire temperature can indicate an onset of tire damage that can be reacted to and cannot cause a dangerous situation on the road.
- No matter how smart the car is, the only link between it and the road is the tire, reminds Jukka Kasi, Product and Marketing Director of Nokian Tires.
The tire also tells you when it’s time to switch to new ones. If the refrigerator of the future orders a new jar to replace the run-off milk, the same can happen to worn tires, Nokian Tires describes the future. The sensors can indicate tire wear to the tire shop, where new rubbers are delivered behind the door or, at best, installed directly in the car.
The importance of preventive maintenance is particularly emphasized as shared cars increase and especially as they begin to operate independently.
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Although there is still a lot of work to be done in the development of robotic cars, various sensor and smart tire solutions are already available. For everyday use, for example, the Continental ContiSense tire has been developed. The sensors in the tire rubber constantly monitor both the tread depth and the temperatures of the different parts of the tire and inform the driver in advance of any problems.
TPMS tire pressure monitors are familiar to some consumers, but the technology taken beyond that is so far mainly in professional use. For example, Nokian Tires Intuitu is a concept for agricultural and contracting tires, where tires with sensors are combined with a mobile application that collects data.
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