Continental has revealed two new tyre concept technologies at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (IAA), another innovation from the German manufacturer, which has promised to bring us smart tyres in the not so distant future.
Two concept technologies
It wouldn’t be a motor show without a set of futuristic concept tyres. At Geneva, we had Goodyear with its spherical tyre. This time it’s Continental which has unveiled its vision of future mobility with two smart tyre technologies. The German manufacturer showcased ContiSense and ContiAdapt at the Frankfurt International Motorshow (IAA), two innovations which enable tyres to adapt to weather conditions and to monitor their own condition.
ContiSense, the tyre from every angle
ContiSense consists of a network of sensors built into the tyre compound. This electric circuit is designed to communicate tyre data to the vehicle’s main system or to a smartphone app. The tyres are constantly monitored for wear and temperature, and an alert is generated if a sudden anomoly or change in driving conditions is detected. The network of sensors would also faciltate the detection of punctures, warning the driver as soon as a tyre is damaged and not just once the pressure starts to drop, as is the case with most current technologies.
ContiAdapt uses micro-compressors built into the wheels to adapt the pressure and width of the tyres according to road conditions. The system can adjust the tyres’ contact surface area with the road where necessary for increased safety and comfort.
In all, 4 configurations are possible, allowing the tyres to adapt to wet, dry, rough and slippery surfaces. For example, in the case of dry surfaces, tyre pressure would be increased to create a smaller contact patch thus lowering the tyres’ rolling resistance. The ContiAdapt system would also enable tyres to drop below 1 bar of pressure to help the vehicle get out of deep snow or black ice.
Continental showcased these two smart technologies on a new concept tyre. The tyre’s tread pattern is divided into three distinct zones and can run on all surfaces, depending on the pressure chosen by ContiAdapt. This tyre, with its long mileage and reduced environmental impact, would be particularly well suited to use on autonomous and electric vehicles.
Find out more about these Continental technologies in video