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Tires join the IOT



The presence of innovative chips in the tires allows them to communicate both with the vehicles' on-board electronic systems and with garage equipment.


Vittorio Ricci

The tire industry is making hefty investment in Rfid (Radio Frequency Identification) systems, with the result of creating "intelligent tires" now part of the Iot (Internet of things). The aim of manufacturers is to make the most of this technology, not only in tracking tires from the factory to the end of their life cycle, but also offering customers predictive maintenance services. In short, a tire capable of communicating both with the vehicle, by means of special sensors able to detect and signal malfunctions, and with garage equipment once inside a workshop. Rfid is a technology capable of automatically identifying and storing information on an electronic label and responding to interrogation by special fixed or portable devices. The chip, integrated inside the rubber, is scanned with a special reading device in order to read the information contained inside. In the case of tires, the data stored in the chip may concern the name of the manufacturer, the unique identification code, the serial number, the correct tire/wheel/vehicle combination, the specific assembly procedure and its retreadability. Each manufacturer, for its part, is developing its own system and experimenting it. Bridgestone, for example, is using Rfid technology in the truck and bus tire sector. The company's goal is to improve casing traceability and optimize total cost of ownership. Continental began producing original equipment tires equipped with Rfid technology last fall. The tag placed inside the tire contains the information needed to identify the tire and ensure that it is fitted correctly. Specifically, the data includes the name of the manufacturer, the unique identification code and the serial number. In addition, through a standardized interface connected to Continental’s database, visible directly from the RFID reader, it will be possible to access additional specific information about the tire. Michelin, for its part, recently announced that all new car and truck tires will be equipped with a radio frequency identification chip by 2023. The goal of the French multinational is to use Rfid technology to create tires capable of communicating with the vehicle and workshop equipment. In particular, Rfid should allow better management of tires from factory to ELT, thanks above all to the ability to offer predictive maintenance services. This Rfid tire identification system ensures that information on the correct tire size is sent to the on-board computer system. Goodyear, on the other hand, is using Rfid technology on its truck line. The chip embedded in the tire allows for easy identification and connectivity to management and tracking systems. By communicating with a cloud-based network and relying on an individual serial number, allows truck fleet managers to efficiently manage the tires. What's more, the chip also acts as a theft deterrent because it enables tracking. Rfid technology, on the other hand, is used by Pirelli to allow the tire to communicate with the car's electronic systems, sending information on the state of the tires such as temperature and pressure, information about the road surface, the vertical load exerted on the tire, and the size of the footprint area on the ground. The chip is powered by the vibrations of the tire and is embedded into the casing. This is a project that started several years ago and that now aims to take advantage of 5G technology for data collection and transmission.

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