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Sumitomo Reveals Smart Tire Roadmap

Sumitomo is hard at work on the tire of the future with their “smart tire” roadmap, first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor show. Keeping tires in tip-top shape, enhanced safety, and improved material durability are among the major areas the company is researching to push the boundaries of what’s possible in tire technology.

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According to an article that appeared in Tires and Parts News, an automotive news resource based in the Middle East, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. revealed its roadmap for “smart tire” innovation at the Tokyo Motor Show. The roadmap includes plans to develop innovative tire products to meet the requirements of safety, connected mobility and sustainability.

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The article reports that:

In 2020  Sumitomo plans to start production of a new tire that will maintain like-new performance for a longer duration. Sumitomo will also debut a concept tire in the same year created from new materials meant to enhance the tire’s environmental performance.

By 2023, Sumitomo plans to develop and debut a new concept tire that will have an “active tread” technology, which will allow the tire to maintain high levels of performance even when the road conditions are bad.

Other innovations on the roadmap include:

  • Sensor technology “that will allow tires to behave as sensors with the installation of a proprietary algorithm in a vehicle’s brake system.” In addition to supporting vehicle control performance, the data collected can help other motorists as well as support future tire development.
  • Technology to adjust the functionality of tread rubber based on changes in road conditions, “making driving safer and more comfortable even when there are sudden changes in road conditions during automated driving.”
  • New materials to better control and compensate for rubber deterioration.

The article goes on to share that Sumitomo plans to continue its R&D efforts with the goal of developing an all-new tire that will incorporate all of its “smart tire concept” technologies by the second half of the next decade.

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