Time to Get Smart About Autonomous Vehicles

Time to Get Smart About Autonomy

Some say it’s crazy to think about self-driving cars becoming commonplace. But elements of automotive autonomy are fast being applied to nearly all new cars. And how the tires interact with the future driverless car is critical. It’s all about connections…

Even with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, tires represent the four contact points with the road, and future mobility demands that tires be able to offer digital connectivity to vehicles. Yes, it’s all about connections.

Looking for more from the MobilityGarage Video Series? Click here!

The connectivity we refer to is the manner in which future tires will need to communicate with the car, maybe with a fleet manager and even with cities. This relates to smart tires, which have a sensor to transmit information about the tire’s condition and its interaction with the road surface.

This interaction is especially vital when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Some will ask: “What happens when you remove the driver and the road is icy, for example?” The smart tire takes on the role of the driver, translating the road to the vehicle.

Or in everyday driving, what if worn tires or those with incorrect pressure have a negative effect on overall driving safety or even simple efficiency? Again, with no driver behind the wheel to feel the decreased performance in his hands, the smart tire can transmit the necessary data to help the autonomous vehicle compensate, or give the data to a fleet manager to make a decision before downtime affects the vehicle.

The connectivity also will allow the smart tires to “learn” the road, evaluating surface and conditions at any given moment, broadcasting that information to GPS systems or municipalities. Integrated and connected tires could detect potholes, icy roads, or other potential road hazards. That data could be delivered in real-time – even without a driver – to allow action to be taken.

Experts say about 15% of vehicles sold by the end of this decade will be fully autonomous, and most of the top automakers have announced plans for highly autonomous technology to be ready for the road within the next five years.

While vehicle autonomy is scary for many people — drivers, pedestrians, and yes, aftermarket shop owners– it certainly is on its way. Already, we’ve witnessed the application of many versions of semi-autonomous technologies. Adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, lane departure correction, automatic braking assist and more.
All of us probably believe we’re really safe drivers. The intent with autonomous vehicles is not necessarily to allow each of us to sit back and read a book or have a drink while the car is driving for us. No, the intent with AVs is to deliver what should end up being the most consistent and safest driver. Knowing that human drivers take chances and make mistakes, the belief is that fully developed autonomous technology creates “perfect drivers.” It’s a technology that will deliver a critical piece of intelligent transportation and future smarter mobility.

Yes, the tipping point for AVs is coming, and tire companies see this as a big opportunity to bring intelligence to tires, as described earlier.

Just as automobiles change, tires change and get better and smarter. Through new structures, materials or sensing capabilities, they will remain the four touch-points between the vehicle and the road surface. No matter if there is a driver behind the wheel or not. We will dig deeper into the role of smart tires in a future segment.

You May Also Like

Five Tips for Retaining Customers

A “winning team” culture is the first step in becoming the best tire/auto service business you can possibly be.

Retain Customers Tips

A fantastic customer experience is key when looking to retain customers. In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video, we talk about several ways to do just that.

Unless your town is experiencing growth with people moving to your area, you likely have a finite pool of potential new customers to draw from. Whether new to you or to your market, any new customer has a high risk of not returning unless you put in place a plan for their next visit to your shop.

Autel Energy Releases its Newest EV Charger

The AC Ultra features an 8-inch LCD touchscreen, a pedestal and a charging cable management system.

Autel new charger
Goodyear Introduces First EV Tire for Regional Fleets

Goodyear said its RangeMax RSD EV tire delivers ultra-low rolling resistance and energy efficiency for regional work vehicles.

Goodyear EV Tire for Fleets
ZC Rubber Introduces EV PRO Tire Lineup in China

ZC Rubber stakes its claim in the EV tire world with its new EV PRO lineup.

Michelin Survey Reveals Remaining EV Hesitancy

Roughly one-quarter (27%) of Americans with traditional vehicles will consider EV purchase for next car.

Other Posts

Michelin, Pirelli Take Top Spots in JD Power OE Tire Survey

A myriad of tire manufacturers received high rankings in J.D. Power’s latest OE Tire Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Continental Makes Dealers EV Ready, Debuts New Partnerships and Incentives

New marketing partnerships, GOLD dealer incentives and education around tires for EVs were on the agenda as Continental gave GOLD dealers a business update for the year ahead in sunny Playa Mujeres, Mexico.

2023 Continental Tire Gold dealer meeting - Travis Roffler
Federal Bill Introduced in Hopes to Stop California’s Gas-, Diesel-Powered Vehicle Ban

If approved, H.R 1435 would prevent the EPA from allowing California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle regulations that would ban motor vehicles with internal combustion engines from taking effect.

Standard Motor Products Has Introduced 276 New Part Numbers This Year

New parts are for electric, hybrid, gasoline and diesel vehicles.