The connected mobility will have a strong and wide impact on the future of human mobility and freight transport, increasing road safety and sustainability as well as vehicle efficiency. This will happen thanks to the development of “smart” systems in which every component will have a key role. Tyres too.
According to the analysts, in a few years, almost all the new vehicles sold should be connected. That means cars and trucks incoming on the market will be able to communicate with each other and the driver, but also with the infrastructures, the local traffic authorities, the cyclists, the pedestrians, and the all-round network as well. These vehicles will take and share plenty of updated data collected along the way, so meaningfully contributing to enhancing their own efficiency, road safety and sustainability. How? Monitoring and detecting potentially dangerous situations, generating real-time alerts about incoming problems on the road, risks of collision with humans or other vehicles, slowdowns and road accidents along the way and much more, and eventually suggesting actions for avoiding them. Theoretically, these vehicles could also predict the emergencies well in advance and maybe next realize an automatic mechanical reaction too.
This suggestive future is not so far away. The application in the mobility of some innovative technologies and smart solutions for connectivity, developed by ITC and Automotive Industries in a joint commitment, can make this possible very soon. Combining the opportunities by the short-range communications and the mobile networks with the most advanced devices for connectivity more and more often available on board of the last generation vehicles, these last ones are going to become real mobile data stations watching, listening and reporting to all the actors moving on the road.
The most recent tests carried out by some of the most important companies in the automotive and ITC sectors confirm the benefits of the so-called C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-everything) technology – that includes Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) applications based on 4G LTE and 5G -: protecting the most vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists), for instance, by alerting drivers about their presence at a crosswalk; smoothing traffic by allowing public authorities and road operators to provide real-time warnings to drivers in urban environments concerning roadworks or speed limits; preventing accidents at dangerous intersections, in the event of unexpected braking and much more.
The application of the connectivity technologies to vehicles will have a strong and wide impact on the future of human mobility and freight transport as well. Actually, data can allow not only increasing road safety, avoiding dangers and reducing accidents but also growing the vehicles’ efficiency, optimizing routes so decreasing times, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, improving the overall management so reducing costs for maintenance, and so on.
This all will take place through the development of increasingly open systems, made up of smart devices and advanced technologies interacting and exchanging data and information with each other and with the surrounding environment. Every component in these systems will have a key role. Tyres too, of course.
The smart tires, that will equip the future cars and trucks, could really often take the lion share. By monitoring tire pressures and wear as well as vehicle use, including speed, distance, and driving behaviour, the smart tires will be able to generate reliable real-time warnings. They should also strongly contribute to developing ever more accurate predictive maintenance models. The tyre wear information could be forwarded through the replacement chain, notifying in time the service centres and warehouses, allowing to pre-booking the new tyres and so providing them in time for when the need will occur. Time savings are evident for the customers (drivers, companies, fleet managers) and for the tyre’s suppliers and aftersales operators as well. Remarkable costs-savings can also come from the cutting of stocks in the warehouses and the tyre centres and from the overall better management of replacement service. Finally, client-companies will be able to plan in advance the tyre replacement for their fleet so better balancing the requirements for a continuous and always performing service with their financial needs and the eventual commercial opportunities on tyres market.