Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer, is collaborating with Microsoft to develop a world-first monitoring system for detecting tyre damage issues in real-time. These issues are a serious matter, contributing to some 30% of all car accidents caused by technical failure.
Bridgestone says its Tyre Damage Monitoring System (TDMS) is the “final piece in tracking tyre issues.” The tyre damage monitoring system uses existing hardware and software to detect damage to the body of the tyre such as bulges or splits caused by hitting a pothole and alert the driver in the same way that existing pressure monitors do.
What separates it from existing systems is that no additional hardware need be installed, the manufacturer adds. The new Tyre Damage Monitoring System (TDMS) can detect when a tyre has been damaged by an impact with a pothole, kerb or debris and immediately notifies the driver.
Issues faced by tyres
According to Bridgestone, tyre issues take four main forms: inadequate pressure, fatigue, irregular wear, and lastly, damage from curbs, potholes, or items on the road. Fortunately, most of these issues can already be reliably mitigated against. TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring systems) have been mandatory in all cars built since 2012 in some parts of the world, and help motorists avoid low-pressure problems. Regular service and replacing tyres in time will guard against wear and fatigue.
The exception, and safety gap, has been tyre damage – which often cannot be detected without close, manual inspection, and which can potentially occur at any time. Damaged tyres can lead to accidents. They can also adversely affect other vehicle components, such as causing damage to the wheels and thus create a further source of potential danger to motorists.
How Does The System Work?
The system uses data from Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) cloud framework as well as from sensors already fitted to a vehicle and uses algorithms to detect irregularities in the tyre surface. Because the system understands when and where damage has occurred, it could be used to notify road maintenance agencies about potholes or other hazards that pose a risk to drivers – a function that, Bridgestone says, will be especially useful for future autonomous vehicles. The manufacturer claims that there is “no other equivalent monitoring system available in the market” and that the closest alternatives require additional hardware to be fitted to the vehicle.
Other Applications of the System
Bridgestone further says that this tyre damage monitoring system has other valuable applications. The system not only understands when the damage has occurred but also where. It thus allows broader insight into road conditions and infrastructure, which can be used to alert the agencies responsible for road damage issues to the presence and location of potholes and other hazards. In addition, autonomous vehicles could also be beneficiaries of the system – as vehicles pass information about local hazards to others in the vicinity, as well as cloud data stores.
A digital partnership for the future of mobility
According to the company, MCVP provides one consistent, cloud-connected, horizontal platform across digital scenarios on top of which customer-facing solutions can be built, including in-vehicle infotainment, advanced navigation, autonomous driving, telematics and prediction services, as well as over-the-air updates (OTA). It includes the enterprise-grade global availability and scale that comes with Microsoft Azure.
MCVP will provide Bridgestone with a digital infrastructure that will accelerate its delivery of connected mobility solutions, providing access to a multitude of Microsoft Azure cloud, AI, and IoT capabilities. In turn, working with Bridgestone helps Microsoft grow its ecosystem of supporting partners, and enables MCVP’s customers to integrate these partner’s solutions into their own offerings.
On this global partnership, Bridgestone India Managing Director, Parag Satpute said, “This tie-up gives Bridgestone India the opportunity to bring state of the art and pioneering technology in mobility solutions to India. This partnership will allow Bridgestone India to further collaborate with our OE partners and provide a higher degree of safety to our consumers. For our Fleet partners in India, the incorporation of this advanced offering means higher safety and better utilization of resources.’’
At present, Bridgestone’s new Tyre Damage Monitoring System is available to all vehicle fleets and OEM’s that use MCVP. The partnership with Microsoft also enables Bridgestone to further develop its solution to meet the requirements of fleets and key OEM partners around the world.