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Tyre of the future rolls in

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At the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled what the tyre of the near future could look like. The IntelliGrip Urban is a concept tyre designed for future-generation autonomous electric ride-sharing vehicles in urban areas.

On-demand transportation – or ride-sharing – as an alternative to taxis, rental cars, or actual driving is no longer just the choice of millennials. The value in convenience of immediacy, location and payment is appealing to all demographics and is bringing ride sharing services into the mainstream. The trend toward urban life creates an ideal environment for the adoption of these new modes of transportation.

“With a focus on vehicles for future urban areas, the IntelliGrip Urban concept tyre’s technical features aim to maximize uptime and energy efficiency. This is crucial for ‘Mobility as a Service’ providers to offer improved mobility to their customers,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Goodyear IntelliGrip Urban, with its advanced Sensor-in-Tyre technology, is a smart tyre designed to support autonomous vehicle control systems and enhance passenger safety. The concept tyre senses road and weather conditions. By gathering this critical data and sending it directly to the vehicle’s computer system, it enables the car to optimize speed, braking, handling and stability.

Future-generation autonomous fleets will be operating in a complex environment, with other vehicles, drivers, pedestrians and data from all of the elements making up the Internet of Things. Tyres such as the Goodyear IntelliGrip Urban could play a critical role in this evolving ecosystem.

Furthermore, fleet operators will benefit from the tyre’s tall and narrow shape, which reduces rolling resistance to increase energy efficiency and range of electrical vehicle fleets in an urban environment. The IntelliGrip Urban’s sensor technology would also allow operators to precisely identify and resolve tyre-related issues before they happen.

Key Features And Benefits

The IntelliGrip Urban would enable fleets to monitor their vehicles and tyres in real time, giving them a competitive advantage whilst helping to increase their profitability, supported by following key features:

  • Sensor-in-Tyre technology helps autonomous cars to better read road conditions, supporting and enhancing passenger safety and peace of mind. The entire fleet can benefit from the crucial Tyre-to-Vehicle information exchange via the cloud.
  • Proactive maintenance allows fleet operators to precisely identify and resolve tyre-related and potential safety issues before they happen. A one-stop, user-friendly solution to maximize tyre performance and schedule proactive maintenance helps to reduce total cost of operations and improve the uptime, efficiency and sustainability of the fleet.
  • Tall and Narrow shape reduces the rolling resistance of the tyre in order to increase the energy efficiency and range of the electrical vehicle fleet in an urban environment. The concept tyre’s shape also contributes to improved aquaplaning performance, which allowed Goodyear’s designers to decrease the amount of grooves on the tyre, increasing mileage and reducing noise levels.

The specially-designed tread provides grip in both winter and summer conditions in urban environments, maximizing uptime and optimizing the efficiency for fleets.

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MWC: Cars begin talking to each other via V2X

Vehicle-to-everything communication is ready to roll out globally, says the 5G Automotive Association

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) announced that ‘Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything’ (C-V2X) communication technology was about to see its first commercial standard: LTE-V2X. In effect the 4G version of C-V2X, the initial version allows vehicles to communicate with each other and their surroundings. Together with 5G enhancements, it will facilitate broad scale improvements in road safety.

“These end-to-end integrated solutions bring enhanced safety, sustainability, and convenience to all road users,” said Thierry Klein, 5GAA vice chair and Head of the Disruptive Innovation Program at Nokia Bell Labs. “5GAA is very excited to be pioneering the revolution towards a smarter and more connected mobility world.”

C-V2X communication is the state-of-the-art, high-speed cellular communications platform that enables vehicles to communicate with one another, with roadside infrastructure, with other road users (such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists) using either direct short-range communications or cellular networks. While C-V2X network-based solutions are already widely deployed, direct communication solutions will be commercially available as of this year. As such the C-V2X platform delivers safety, mobility, traffic efficiency, and environmental benefits. C-V2X is designed with an evolutionary path to 5G and supports safe and efficient operations of autonomous vehicles.

Click here to read about 5GAA members spearheading C-V2X.

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Project Bloodhound saved

The British project to break the world landspeed record at a site in the Northern Cape has been saved by a new backer, after it went into bankruptcy proceedings in October.

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Two weeks ago,  and two months after entering voluntary administration, the Bloodhound Programme Limited announced it was shutting down. This week it announced that its assets, including the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), had been acquired by an enthusiastic – and wealthy – supporter.

“We are absolutely delighted that on Monday 17th December, the business and assets were bought, allowing the Project to continue,” the team said in a statement.

“The acquisition was made by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst. Ian is a mechanical engineer by training, with a strong background in managing a highly successful business in the automotive engineering sector, so he will bring a lot of expertise to the Project.”

Warhurst and his family, says the team, have been enthusiastic Bloodhound supporters for many years, and this inspired his new involvement with the Project.

“I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets preventing the project breakup,” he said. “I know how important it is to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, and I want to ensure Bloodhound can continue doing that into the future.

“It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks I have received in the last few days.”

The record attempt was due to be made late next year at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert, where retired pilot Andy Green planned to beat the 1228km/h land-speed record he set in the United States in 1997. The target is for Bloodhound to become the first car to reach 1000mph (1610km/h). A track 19km long and 500 metres wide has been prepared, with members of the local community hired to clear 16 000 tons of rock and stone to smooth the surface.

The team said in its announcement this week: “Although it has been a frustrating few months for Bloodhound, we are thrilled that Ian has saved Bloodhound SSC from closure for the country and the many supporters around the world who have been inspired by the Project. We now have a lot of planning to do for 2019 and beyond.”

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