The smart tire revolution is taking over fast. Among the key players adopting advanced technologies to enhance the performance of tires is Pirelli. Their new Pirelli Cyber Tire is a highly-sophisticated component that features plenty of advanced sensors.
These sensors convey warnings and radio information to the driver in case there is a rip, puncture, loss in pressure, or skidding. It knows when traction is being lost or when the car is skidding in a puddle. The information is conveyed through an electronic receptor that allows the driver to make corrections.
The tire is also 5G-enabled. This allows it to communicate to other receiver-equipped vehicles or to wireless infrastructure like those found on racetracks. In addition, a ‘touching’ dimension allows the tire to work hand-in-hand with the autonomous driving capabilities within the car. A vehicle may receive information directly from the road informing it to slow down to avoid a pedestrian or obstacle. This information will be complemented by visual data obtained from lidar, radar, and sonar.
The sensors incorporated within Pirelli tires are shaped like a sombrero. They are smaller in size and include a radio, communication electronics, and a processor. The Cyber Tire, particularly, uses sophisticated software to send information to the vehicle’s engine control unit or module. This allows the car to slow down or increase speed depending on the circumstances.
Pirelli plans to add a device that can be mounted within the cockpit. This will be specially-designed for performance car owners in the U.S. When paired with high-end Trofeo tires, the sensors will be able to communicate about lap timings, track positioning, and tire condition.
The future of the involvement of the Cyber Tire in racing remains vague. According to the head of research and development for Pirelli’s smart tire project, Corrado Rocca, such a development could take up to five years to realize. This is because adding new technology and software is often a lengthy process. The stringent rules that exist in Formula One also make it quite challenging to include smart technology within the tires.
Nevertheless, Pirelli is still pursuing tire developments for passenger vehicles. This includes adjusting the weight, reducing noise, controlling thermal behavior, and issuing new materials for better performance.