Bridgestone, one of the lading tyre and rubber manufacturer, is collaborating with American software major Microsoft to develop a world-first monitoring system for detecting tyre damage issues in real-time. The company says these issues are a serious matter and contributing to around 30 percent of all car accidents caused by technical failure.
According to Bridgestone, tyre issues take four main forms: inadequate pressure, fatigue, irregular wear, and lastly, damage from curbs, potholes, or items on the road. Fortunately, most of these issues can already be reliably mitigated against. TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring systems) have been mandatory in all cars built since 2012 in most parts of the world, and help motorists avoid low-pressure problems. Regular service and replacing tyres in time will guard against wear and fatigue.
The exception, and safety gap, has been tyre damage – which often cannot be detected without close, manual inspection, and which can potentially occur at any time. Damaged tyres can lead to accidents. They can also adversely affect other vehicle components, such as causing damage to the wheels, and thus create a further source of potential danger to motorists.
Bridgestone’s Tyre Damage Monitoring System delivers real-time awareness of damage. It uses Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) cloud framework together with existing sensor data, from hardware that is already installed, and uses algorithms to detect events affecting the tyre surface and carcass. The driver can then be immediately notified of the hazard and act accordingly to remedy the situation. The tyre maker claims that there is currently no other equivalent monitoring system available in the market, and alternatives would require extra hardware to be installed.
Gather insights on road conditions and infrastructure
Bridgestone says the tyre damage monitoring system has other valuable applications, as it not only understands when damage has occurred, but also where. It thus allows broader insight into road conditions and infrastructure, which can be used to alert the agencies responsible for road damage issues to the presence and location of potholes and other hazards. Future autonomous vehicles could also be beneficiaries of the system – as vehicles pass information about local hazards to others in the vicinity, as well as cloud data stores.
At present, Bridgestone’s new Tyre Damage Monitoring System is available to all vehicle fleets and OEM’s that use MCVP. The partnership with Microsoft also enables Bridgestone to further develop its solution to meet the requirements of fleets and key OEM partners around the world.
According to the company MCVP provides one consistent, cloud-connected, horizontal platform across digital scenarios on top of which customer-facing solutions can be built, including in-vehicle infotainment, advanced navigation, autonomous driving, telematics and prediction services, as well as over-the-air updates (OTA). It includes the enterprise-grade global availability and scale that comes with Microsoft Azure.
MCVP will provide Bridgestone with a digital infrastructure that will accelerate its delivery of connected mobility solutions, providing access to a multitude of Microsoft Azure cloud, AI, and IoT capabilities. In turn, working with Bridgestone helps Microsoft grow its ecosystem of supporting partners, and enables MCVP’s customers to integrate these partner’s solutions into their own offerings.
Laurent Dartoux, CEO and president, Bridgestone EMIA said: “Digital is such a huge part of what we do today at Bridgestone; it’s imperative that we work with industry-leading partners who can support our needs today and in the future. By teaming up with Microsoft, we have the opportunity to bring our Tyre Damage Monitoring System to millions of drivers, offering them better safety and peace of mind.”
Tara Prakriya, GM, Azure Mobility, and Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, Microsoft said: “Microsoft partners with mobility companies to support their transformation into smart mobility services providers. With the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, our mission is to help businesses accelerate the delivery of safe and personalised connected mobility experiences. Using MCVP, Bridgestone has created Tyre Damage Monitoring System that offers a remarkable contribution to road safety and proves how the collaboration between industry leaders can unlock new business opportunities ahead.”
On this global partnership, Parag Satpute, MD, Bridgestone India said, “This tie-up gives Bridgestone India the opportunity to bring state of the art and pioneering technology in mobility solutions to India. This partnership will allow Bridgestone India to further collaborate with our OE partners and provide a higher degree of safety to our consumers. For our Fleet partners in India, the incorporation of this advanced offering means higher safety and better utilisation of resources.’’