Adaptable Tires Can Reduce Accidents
November 03, 2017
Every year, new cars are introduced to the market with new features that promise to reduce accidents. According to car accident statistics collected since the 1920s when motor vehicles first became accessible to the general population, the number of traffic fatalities per miles traveled has substantially decreased over time. From 1979 to 2015, the number of annual car accident deaths in the United States decreased by nearly 15 percent. Per capita, the number of traffic fatalities decreased by more than 35 percent during that period.
Tire technology can help continue to decrease fatalities in the future by making it possible for tires to monitor their own pressure and inflation and to adapt to their surroundings. These concepts have been developed by Continental Tires.
New Rubber Technology
Overinflated tires, underinflated tires, and tires compromised by tears and balding can put motorists at risk of being injured by blowouts and collisions. Continental’s technology aims to mitigate the loss of control a driver has when their tires are damaged by automatically amending this damage or notifying the driver to take action.
Continental recently introduced two new tire technologies including ContiSense and ContiAdapt.
Tires equipped with ContiSense contain sensors that monitor the tires’ temperature and tread depth and wirelessly report this information back to the vehicle’s onboard computer. When there is an unsafe change to one of these values, the car notifies the driver. This technology can also notify a driver when the tire is penetrated so they can take action before the tire becomes dangerously deflated.
Tires equipped with ContiAdapt electronic sensors make it possible for a tire to detect its environment and adapt its contact patch accordingly. For example, it can alter its “footprint” to make it easier for a driver to drive over a patch of black ice or through a puddle.
Safety Features in Production
Continental’s new tire concepts are part of a wave of new safety technologies making use of smart sensors in vehicles. According to Continental, they are a step in the development of the REDI sensor, an innovative safety sensor that first hit the market in 2014 and established a communication link between cars and their tires.
Other smart technologies entering the motor vehicle market include augmented reality displays that make it possible for drivers to see traffic patterns and the effects of their speeds in real time, smartphone integration, and brake assistance.
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