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Bridgestone's new technology estimates tire wear

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Bridgestone Corp. has developed a technology for estimating tire wear and tread depth. The new technology uses sensors attached to the inside of tires to estimate tread wear conditions and provides the driver with real-time monitoring of tire conditions.

Bridgestone says the technology will enable drivers to judge the most appropriate timing for tire replacement and the optimal timing for tire rotations. The technology is based on the company’s proprietary Contact Area Information Sensing 1 (CAIS 1) concept.

Although the company declined to predict the cost of a tire equipped with the technology, Rachel Withers, manager of community and corporate relations for Bridgestone Americas Inc., answered other questions asked by Modern Tire Dealer.

MTD: Will OE and replacement tires have the technology?

Withers: We are still in the early stages of developing this new technology. We are pursuing a variety of markets and opportunities, and this includes discussions with key OE and replacement market customers interested in CAIS3.

MTD: When will tires be equipped with the technology and which tires will be equipped with it?

Withers: We cannot comment on a timeline for commercialization. Currently, the technology is designed for use in commercial vehicles, and, in principle, we believe it also will be applicable to passenger vehicles. In order for this technology to be brought to practical application, we must make some refinements to the sensor system to ensure it fully meets the needs of our customers.

MTD: When will independent tire dealers in the U.S. see these tires in their shops?

Withers: At the moment, we are in the process of developing an algorithm that will enable us to estimate wear from tire acceleration information. We have conducted running tests that have collected the data necessary to estimate wear up to the mid-life period of tires.

Going forward, we must verify the accuracy of this system under a more diverse range of usage conditions (different speed ranges, tire types, spoke of installation, etc.)

For more information on Bridgestone and its products, visit www.bridgestone.com.

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