Regensburg, Germany – Is your back seat too full for your road trip? Or are the building materials you’re hauling around in the trunk for your new home too heavy? Intelligent tire pressure sensors can detect whether the vehicle is too heavy. If it is, they warn the driver with a signal.
In the future, Continental, a leading automotive supplier, will install intelligent sensors on the inside of the tire treads with electronics that identify how large the ground contact patch is and then use this to calculate the payload. The greater the load weight, the larger the contact patch.
“In the past, it was more or less up to drivers to ‘guesstimate’ to the best of their abilities whether or not the maximum permitted payload of a car had already been reached,” says Andreas Wolf, head of the Body & Security business unit at Continental.
In the future, the vehicle will be able to inform the driver whether the payload has already exceeded the maximum limit or whether only the tire pressure needs to be adjusted. Tire pressure sensors therefore not only help the driver to save fuel, but also actively help to guarantee driving safety.
Before driving a car or truck, it is important to ensure that the tire pressure is correct. It must be appropriate to the total weight of the vehicle. “Otherwise a large part of the excess weight puts the outer tread of the tire—the tire shoulder—under strain,” Wolf continues. “This compromises optimum grip.”
Incorrect tire pressure can have further negative consequences, such as premature wear of tires and chassis components, non-smooth running, and reduced traction.
In the future, smartphones will also help drivers to calculate the correct tire pressure with the Filling Assistant. The first step has already been completed and one Asian automotive manufacturer is installing a subfunction of the Filling Assistant developed by Continental as standard.
While the tire is being filled, a signal informs the user automatically that the correct tire pressure has been attained. In the opinion of Daniel Tinhof, test engineer at TÜV SÜD, improved support of driver assistance systems will also be possible in the future thanks to intelligent tire sensors. “The electronic stability control system ESC and the emergency brake assistant can function with even more precision if the parameters from the tires are taken into consideration,” says Tinhof.
For more information, visit www.conti-online.com.
SOURCE: Continental Corporation