Here’s how commercial vehicles use IoT to manage tyre performance

It is a common knowledge that Internet of Things (IoT) can improve efficiencies across businesses processes and functionalities. Showcasing one such application of IoT is tyre lifecycle management. According to market reports, 90 percent of the cars are going to be connected by 2020. As vehicles get intelligent and connected, the thing that needs major attention is the tyres, and their lifecycle. Autonomous and connected vehicles are expected to navigate and face many different road situations that can increase the wear and tear of the tyres. In such a scenario, tyre lifecycle management is a major point to focus into, especially those of the commercial vehicles because of the cost involved.

Taking that as a cue, Tyre Express, a technology start up focussing on lifecycle management for fleet operators have used IoT as the base technology to develop a Tyre Performance Management Solution. The company is a full stack enterprise IoT solutions developer.
Giving the reason behind such a solution, Brijesh Shukla, Co-Founder, Tyre Express said, “Tyres are one of the largest consumables for fleet operators after fuel. Operating a vehicle with tyre pressure that is 20% below rated pressure increases fuel consumption by 5-10% and reduces tyre life by 15% to 20%. The new IoT platform helps customers monitor tyre performance in real time and track inventory.”

According to the market study, in India, procurement of new tyres for a commercial vehicle costs approximately INR 1 Lakh to INR 1.50 Lakh ($1,800-$2,200). “Fluctuations in pressure and temperature can have a dramatic effect on the life span of a tyre. Tyre pressure varies across vehicles depending on the model, size, etc., depending on whether one travels on a light or fully loaded vehicle. Tyre Express has started working towards monitoring these parameters and taking pre-emptive measures to increase their performance,” added Shukla.

To develop this solution, Tyre Express has used Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, which enables the company to track tyre performance real time. The solution works like this: tThe aggregator hub gathers data that is periodically sent to the Azure IoT hub for further processing and analytics. When a message enters the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, the Stream Analytics casts the data to appropriate data types and sends it to Power BI for a visual demo and to a SQL database.

“Microsoft Azure enables us to create a superior customer experience by allowing us to seamlessly integrate our devices with the cloud, store, and analyze data. It enables us to visualize the same in the form of easy-to-understand dashboards. We can help customers take suitable action based on such inputs to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve profitability.”Adding to that, Narendra Bhandari, General Manager – Developer Experience and Evangelism, Microsoft India said, “Tyre performance tracking can control premature tyre failure in the vehicle, a direct impact on fleet productivity, costs and on time performance. Microsoft and Tyre Express have combined the power of IoT and Analytics for this innovative and game-changing offering for the commercial vehicle industry.”

Tyres of the future

Meanwhile, Goodyear, the tyre manufacturer is working on a concept tyre which is expected to revolutionize the tyres of the future. Based on the AI technology, Goodyear’s prototype Eagle 360 Urban is designed to sense and adapt to road conditions on the go. Talking about the new tyre technology, president of Goodyear Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Jean-Claude Kihn, said, “A revolution is taking place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity. To safely navigate their surroundings, the autonomous vehicles of the future will need to learn to cope with the millions of possible unknowns we face in everyday driving scenarios. To do so they will need access to data and the ability to learn and adapt. Eagle 360’s sensor network will prepare the vehicle for unexpected conditions and enable proactive maintenance, with the vehicle able to provide alerts when its tyres require servicing or even drive itself to a service station.”

The new tyre will process data to improve braking, handling, and efficiency. It’s even intended to repair its own punctures. It will even be able to locate its own punctures and automatically rotate to reduce pressure and allow self-healing of minor damage to begin, thanks to a network of continuous sensors and material specifically designed to flow towards a puncture. Eagle 360 Urban will share the information it’s captured, as well as the related actions and its success, with other connected vehicles and elements in the Internet of Things. The new tyre will be made of new material that will have similar flexibility like human skin. It will also have a spherical shape making it ideal for city driving, providing increased maneuverability to suit limited spaces.

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