Tech

Connected tires to increase pressure, here is Continental’s idea

With the rise of the electric car, tire manufacturers are working on new technologies to improve their energy efficiency, reduce their ecological footprint and increase their lifespan.

continental tires
Credits: Continental

For several years, tire manufacturers have been working on new technologies to improve energy efficiency, increase service life and also reduce the ecological footprint of their products. Rather capital research, especially when we know that tires and brakes will pollute more than exhaust gases by 2035 according to an OECD report published in 2020.

In this area, Continental is a pioneer. In 2021, the brand caused a sensation by unveiling a tire composed mainly of biomaterials such as dandelion and vegetable resins. The Conti Green Concept, that’s its name, is also made with 17% recycled materials, such as water bottles, steel and scrap rubber from damaged tires. In the same spirit, Goodyear in turn presented at CES 2023 its first tire made of 90% recyclable materials. A great step forward for the manufacturer, which is committed to produce and market a tire made from 100% recyclable materials by 2030.

Intelligent tires able to increase pressure when needed

However, as our colleagues from the specialized Autocar site report, Continental is also working on a new kind of tyre. Specifically, the brand has been working for several years now on tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), which rely on sensors integrated directly into the tread.

The brand wants to continue its efforts in this area and ensure that the sensors are no longer limited to monitoring tire pressure. The idea? Keep them inflated to the correct pressure. To do this, the company is currently developing a technology called Pressure Proof.

To maintain the pressure in the tyres, Continental engineers have devised a small air pump built into the wheel itself and powered by centrifugal force. As the wheel spins, excess air is stored in a small reservoir built into the wheel-tire assembly. When the sensors detect a drop in pressure, the system would look for the missing air in this integrated tank. According to Continental’s first estimates, this technology would increase tire life by about 7400 km, while energy efficiency would increase by 3%. Enough to gain a few kilometers of autonomy on board an electric car for example.

Source : Coach

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