As vehicles – and their surroundings – increasingly and automatically communicate in our ever-more connected world, data is an important key in this ecosystem. Through sensors and connectivity, tyres are now talking to us – there are many reasons why we should listen to them.
Not only can ‘smart’ and connected tyres help us save time, costs and improve safety, they can also provide learnings for autonomous vehicles. By 2027, Goodyear aims to reinvent the world of tyres and service, delivering data as well as sensor-enabled and artificial intelligence in all of its new products. With a focus on fleets, autonomous, connected, electric and sustainable (FACES), it is transforming itself from a tyre company to a mobility enabler.
Goodyear’s SightLine1 suite of tyre intelligence technologies encompass connected solutions that can, through the use of real-time data and the deep understanding of tyre dynamics, help identify and address issues before they become visible. “The idea behind Goodyear SightLine is to democratize tyre intelligence,” says Sosia Causeret Josten, Goodyear SightLine New Venture Specialist. “Tyre intelligence is nothing new. It is common in specialist applications, but now is the time for it to become more widely available to all drivers and vehicles.”
Although SightLine is an overarching concept, the first sector of focus is cargo van fleets2 in the construction, field service and last-mile delivery sectors. “In the first application, SightLine offers several options, from the complete solution including tyre sensors and a dongle plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port to a full integration with existing telematics systems, all permitted to transmit real-time data to the SightLine cloud where it is processed into a smart algorithm,” explains Causeret Josten.
“This connectivity gives fleet operators and drivers the insights to manage fleets more efficiently, by preventing tyre-related downtime while reducing breakdown costs,” Causeret Josten says. “One benefit is to help adjust fleet operations and minimize operational disruptions, through constant monitoring, and more timely reactions, for example.” As a digital product, new features will be released on a rolling basis.
The first phase of Goodyear SightLine features includes leak detection, parked vehicle tyre monitoring and tyre pressure monitoring. Anticipated future elements will comprise tyre auto location, fuel economy through optimal tyre pressure monitoring, tyre load estimation, mileage, tyre road friction, tyre identification, and treadwear monitoring.
Looking to the future, Goodyear SightLine can be integrated into car makers’ vehicles3, too, enabling important safety features to inform vehicle control systems. Hydroplaning warnings, and overall tyre health monitoring will be useful features that will follow.
Cost and operation efficiencies
“In terms of customer experience, Goodyear is aiming to make the whole process of owning, maintaining and driving a vehicle more seamless and frictionless,” reports Causeret Josten. “This may mean, if an alert is received saying the tyres will be worn in the next 500 kilometers, an app would schedule a meeting with a preferred tyre dealer. This means that on the day the vehicle is in the workshop, the tyres are available – the operator or driver does not need to think about or do anything. Everything is managed for them.” This offers efficiencies both in cost and operation.
Performance improvement features are another area where Goodyear SightLine’s technologies bring benefit, particularly in safety. “Typically, no matter what tyres you have, the ABS system will always react in the same way,” Causeret Josten explains. “However, if the ABS can tell that the vehicle is driving on half-worn summer tyres, it can react quicker, and reduce stopping distances. This advantage can play an important role in an autonomous future where the vehicle has to react itself.”
Technologies such as this can have even more vital roles. In the future, if a vehicle’s tyres are worn, that vehicle may not start. For autonomous vehicles4, this can be a benefit, reducing accident risk. What other future benefits might the technology bring? Feedback on the road and tyre conditions could be gathered, promoting additional safety features. Tyre intelligence data may also bring accuracy improvements in advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies as well as those relating to connected autonomous vehicles.
Connected and customized
Currently in a pilot program, Goodyear SightLine will incorporate many data subsets and therefore be available in various packages to create more customized solutions for fleets. A global evaluation group of over 1,000 vehicles is currently testing Goodyear SightLine, ready for potential wider implementation by the end of 2022.