Feeling tyred and emotional
If your car is off-colour, your tyres will reveal all, writes Mark Hinchliffe
SMART tyres that monitor themselves and the road, and then ‘‘talk’’ to your car, are coming. A few years after luxury car and bike makers introduced automatic tyre-pressure monitors as a safety feature, the Cyber Tyre is claimed to make the next big safety step.
At least, that is the belief of Schrader Electronics, a company that specialises in automotive sensors.
It has worked with the Pirelli tyre company to produce a sensor that is mounted inside the tyre rather than on the valve or wheel rim, as with current tyre-pressure monitors.
The sensor transmits information to receivers in the car and then through the car’s computer to the driver.
The information goes a lot deeper than current tyre pressures or — as in Formula One — temperatures across the tread.
The information will include the tyre’s tread depth, pressure and temperature, the shape of its ‘‘footprint’’ on the road and the amount of load it is under at all times, from normal running to accelerating, braking and cornering.
Sensors will also monitor road conditions to measure the amount of grip.
All this information will be made available to the car’s safety systems — anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control — to provide more instant data to keep the vehicle stable and safe.
Schrader says the sensors work by measuring pressure, temperature, average load and the number of revolutions of each tyre.
Schrader spokesman Alfonso Di Pasquale says the Cyber Tyre will ‘‘enhance a vehicle’s safety and the driving experience’’.
The first Cyber Tyre system will be on sale in Europe this year and around the world by 2013.
The company is not giving any details about which companies will pick it up for new-model use or the projected price.
Safety: a sensor in a Pirelli tyre can reveal a lot about its condition.