Pirelli Uses 5G to Improve Safety

Helping drivers stay safe on the road has been a major priority in the twenty-first century. Engineers have continuously leveraged technology to inform drivers about road conditions. Major automakers have already designed cars with anti-slip systems, lane assist, automated emergency braking systems, and other technologies.

Pirelli is joining these companies in improving safety by taking things a step further. The tire manufacturer is using 5G technology within its tires to give drivers more control over their cars’ grip on the road.

Using a vehicle-to-infrastructure interface, the system uses 5G technology to inform other drivers of adverse conditions that may be present in an area. The technical concept was finalized at Turin in Italy by Pirelli, KTH, Tim, Ericsson, Audi, and Italdesign. The team embedded sensors into Pirelli tires which then forwarded data about road conditions to other cars. This allowed the cars to adapt dynamically to changing states of the road. The system has additional functionality that transmits data on areas of low grip.

Pirelli refers to this technological innovation as Cyber Tire. It could be a potential improvement in road safety. External conditions such as snow, ice, and floods are a danger to drivers. Having cars that can adjust to such conditions allows for safer driving. The team tested a car over standing water which can result in hydroplaning over short distances. Hydroplaning is a situation whereby vehicles lose traction due to the layer of water that exists between the road surface and the tires. The vehicle is normally unable to respond to control inputs. The test vehicle was able to adapt to the conditions thanks to data generated from another test car.

Pirelli claims that tires will be so advanced that in addition to informing other cars, they will be able to communicate their own health. The driver will be fed with information regarding the model of tire installed, dynamic load information, the current tire state, and the miles driven. Pirelli’s tests are part of the latest vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle tests that are showing the possibilities that exist when 5G is incorporated into vehicles.