Intelligent sensor from Sumitomo reduces risk of loose wheel accidents

Written by Admin
2 April 2024

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), the maker of Falken Tyres, has expanded its Sensing Core intelligent tire technology with a new feature designed to prevent wheel detachment incidents, set to debut in production vehicles this year. The sensor-less system is designed to address various safety concerns like tire pressure, wear, load distribution and road hazards.

Loose wheel accidents, which are particularly prevalent during winter tire changes and can be severe, prompted SRI’s development of the wheel detachment function. When car and truck drivers switch over to winter tires, the wheel nuts may not be tightened sufficiently. While many commercial vehicle operators use mechanical clips on the nuts as a visual check, they are not 100% reliable and rely on the diligence of the driver to check each of them before each journey.


With such accidents receiving prominent media attention in recent years, including in Japan where SRI is based, the Japanese government expressed a desire to reduce loose wheel accidents. SRI says that in 2024, an OEM customer will integrate this feature into their vehicles as standard equipment, with discussions ongoing with other manufacturers.


Functioning independently of tire make, model or size, the wheel detachment function analyzes wheel-speed signals and data from the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) to detect loose wheel nuts, even by as little as 1mm.

Sensing Core evolved out of SRI’s deflation warning system (DWS) and is designed, the company says, to function as “the centrepiece of the peripheral services SRI is developing to meet the future challenges of CASE vehicles and Mobility as a Service (MaaS)” under the Smart Tire Concept initiative – an effort from SRI to develop various technologies needed for the tires of the future.

“We envisage that Sensing Core will make a significant contribution to the evolution and further development of mobility in the coming autonomous driving society,” said Dr Bernd Löwenhaupt, managing director, Sumitomo Rubber Europe.

“We will not only utilize the data obtained by Sensing Core, including road condition data, for vehicle control, but also pursue technological development with our eyes on the future integration of the data with societal information via cloud services.”

Future applications of the system include cloud-based tire wear monitoring, where usage data is enables the prediction of tire wear and issuance of alerts to drivers or fleet managers for timely replacements.


Source:Tire Technology International

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