Smart tyres can detect wear and tear, adapt to road conditions
Continental sensor technologies target autonomous, electric car markets
Continental is embedding sensor technology in its tyres to monitor tyre and road conditions and adapt to prevailing driving conditions on the fly.
The fourth-largest tyre manufacturer in the world has announced two related technologies, ContiSense and ContiAdapt, seen as promising solutions for the needs of automated driving and EV systems.
ContiSense is based on building electronic conductive rubber compounds that enable electric signals to be sent from a sensor in the tyre to a receiver in the car. Continuously monitoring both tread depth and temperature, the rubber-based sensors indicate if the measured value is above or below the predefined limit and triggers the system to immediately alert the driver. If anything penetrates the tread, like a nail, a circuit in the tyre is closed, triggering an immediate warning for the driver before the tyre pressure starts to drop.
ContiAdapt combines micro-compressors integrated into the wheel to adjust the tyre pressure and wheel (rim) width, allowing the tyre to automatically adjust to wet, uneven surface, slippery and normal conditions. The purpose is to change the contact patch of the tire, the part of the tire that contacts the road surface. For example, a smaller contact patch combined with high tyre pressure makes for low rolling resistance, generating energy-efficient driving on smooth, dry roads. By contrast, the combination of a larger contact patch with lower tire pressure delivers ideal grip on slippery roads.
Continental has also joined both the ContiSense and ContiAdapt technologies in one concept tyre that enables the benefits of both systems to be fully leveraged.