Japanese tyre major, Bridgetstone has announced the development of a technology capable of estimating a wheel axle load and tyre wear condition by using newly developed sensors attached inside the tyres that measure the change in strain that occurs when a tyre makes contact with the road while in motion. The company says this technology is unique to Bridgestone and the first-of-its-kind in the world.
The Smart Strain Sensor solution developed by the tyre maker incorporates next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In addition to tracking tyre inflation pressure and temperature, the Smart Strain Sensor is able to measure the dynamic change in strain that occurs when a tyre is in use. A proprietary algorithm is applied to convert data gathered by the sensor into tyre load and wear information, which is then collected and sent to the cloud.
Bridgestone’s previously released sensing technology performs measurements based on accelerometer sensors, which required a certain amount of speed to acquire data. The new Smart Strain Sensor technology, however, measures strain, which is independent to speed. As such, the new technology is able to acquire highly reliable data even at low speeds.
This is an important differentiator, as autonomous vehicles are expected to be operated at low speeds for enhanced safety. Furthermore, the proprietary algorithm contributes to substantial improvements in the battery lifespan of the Smart Strain Sensor, which is critically important for practical implementation.