TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. has developed sensor technology it claims is capable of estimating wheel axle load and tire wear conditions even at low speeds, a parameter it said is critical for the emerging autonomous vehicle segment.
The new sensor technology measures strain—the amount of deformation of the rubber under the sensor—which is independent of speed, Bridgestone said, noting that AVs are expected to be operated at low speeds for enhanced safety.
Attached to a tire's inner liner, the Smart Strain Sensors measure the change in strain that occurs when a tire makes contact with the road while in motion, Bridgestone said, claiming the technology is unique.
Incorporating "next-generation" Internet of Things technologies, the sensors can track tire pressure and temperature as well as dynamic changes in strain that occur when a tire is in use. This enables the sensor to acquire "highly reliable data even at low speeds," Bridgestone added.
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, the Japanese tire maker added.
Bridgestone's previously released sensing technology is based on accelerometer sensors, which require a certain amount of speed to acquire data.
Another key feature of the technology, according to Bridgestone, is that the proprietary algorithm contributes to "substantial improvements" in the battery lifespan of the sensor, which is important for practical implementation.