AKRON—The combination of ride-sharing, self-driving vehicles and other technological advancements in personal transportation is providing an opportunity for Goodyear to learn even more about tires than it already does.
The Akron-based company is teaming up with California's Tesloop Inc., which operates a fleet of semi-autonomous Teslas, to rack up the miles and data it needs.
The two companies announced on Thursday, Jan. 5, that they have inked an agreement to study and model tire performance based on data generated by the Tesloop's city-to-city mobility service. That service, which provides shared transportation services for trips of between 50 and 300 miles, racks up about 20,000 miles per month on each of its vehicles. Tesloop did not say how many vehicles it has on the road, only that its fleet is expanding.
But Goodyear appears confident it will get the data it needs. Tesloop's initial vehicle has already gone more than 250,000 miles since it hit the road in 2015—all of those miles on Goodyear tires, the companies said.
Ultimately, Goodyear hopes to use advanced analytics and cloud-based machine learning to develop new models that will help it predict tire wear and potentially guide future engineering.
"Leveraging our deep knowledge and experience in tire design, testing and fleet operations, our goal is to ensure that we can offer the most innovative range of tire-related technologies and services for the next generation of connected passenger mobility fleets," Jim Euchner, vice president of global innovation at Goodyear, said in announcing the agreement.
"Tesloop's leadership in the utilization of semi-autonomous, connected, electric cars gives us insights today into the next generation of mobility, where driving vehicles 250,000 miles a year may be a common occurrence," he said.
For its part, Tesloop thinks it's part of a trend that will only continue. People might own fewer cars in the future, but by driving shared cars more miles will save money, it contends.
"Over the next few years, we believe that all leading passenger mobility services will migrate to autonomous, electric, supercharged vehicle platforms," said Tesloop CEO Rahul Sonnad in a statement. "This will drastically lower the cost of car transportation, increase miles driven and enable cars to run nearly 24 hours every day."