Bridgestone Develops New Sensor Technology For Autonomous Vehicles

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Bridgestone has announced the development of a technology capable of estimating a wheel axle load and tyre wear condition by using newly developed sensors attached inside tyres that measure the change in the strain that occurs when a tyre makes contact with the road while in motion. This technology is unique to Bridgestone and the first of its kind in the world.

Bridgestone Tyre Sensor (1)

The Smart Strain Sensor technology developed by Bridgestone incorporates next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In addition to tracking tyre inflation pressure and temperature, the Smart Strain Sensor is able to measure the dynamic change in the strain that occurs when a tyre is in use. A proprietary algorithm is applied to convert data gathered by the Smart Strain Sensor into tire load and wear information, which is then collected and sent to the cloud.

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Bridgestone’s previously released sensing technology performs measurements based on accelerometer sensors, which require a certain amount of speed to acquire data. The new Smart Strain Sensor technology, however, measures strain, which is independent of speed. As such, the new technology is able to acquire highly reliable data even at low speeds. This is an important differentiator, as autonomous vehicles are expected to be operated at low speeds for enhanced safety. Furthermore, the proprietary algorithm contributes to substantial improvements in the battery lifespan of the Smart Strain Sensor, which is critically important for practical implementation.

Bridgestone Tyre Sensor (2)

Equipping tyres with Smart Strain Sensors allows vehicle managers to remotely monitor information such as tyre air pressure, along with metrics pertaining to load and wear in real-time. By monitoring tyres and predicting maintenance issues before they occur, Bridgestone expects this technology to contribute to improved safety and productivity for fleets, as well as autonomous cars in the future.

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