The company’s new smart tyre technology that was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020 will be an innovative solution to keep a check on various tyre-related parameters more than what a regular tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can. Auto Tech Review caught up with Srinivasu Allaphan, Director, Sales & Marketing, JK Tyre & Industries to understand more about the new smart tyre technology among others. Excerpts:
Can you elaborate about the smart tyre technology?
This smart tyre concept is an industry-first offering that ensures reduction in carbon footprint as well as 3-5 % fuel savings besides increasing safety – it measures pressure and temperature metrics, which becomes more relevant as the tyre starts ageing. Such information keeps vehicle occupants safe avoiding tyre bursts or any other mishaps. This tyre will be a big draw for commercial vehicle users for its enhanced tyre life. JK Tyre has started working with some OEs to provide them as a factory fitment. The conventional tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) only provides pressure data, whereas the smart tyre will improve on that with temperature and GPS-connected information as well. This smart tyre uses sensors to detect abnormalities. Other OE systems are valve-based or laser-based in high-end vehicles. Laser-based TPMS can detect changes in the diameter, while the smart tyre will be able to provide sensor and GPS-linked data right to a user’s smartphone.
Give us an insight into the working of the smart tyre technology?
The smart tyre has an array of sensors inbuilt in vehicle tyres, which can project pressures and temperatures to a user’s smartphone via an application. This technology supports all vehicles, motorbikes, cars, buses, trucks and is much more than the basic TPMS. The smart tyre can be purchased as a smart tyre sensor kit, Mtrac smart sensor kit and the top-of-the-line Mpower smart sensor kit. Both Mtrac and Mpower kits have TREEL app support displaying information like engine on/off status, tow away alert, vehicle battery status, pressure, temperature data, etc. The standard TPMS systems are now trickling down to more affordable cars, but are still not very widely available and this is where JK’s smart tyres offer a readily available alternative for most buyers across all segments. And for fleet owners JK offers Tyre Management as a Service (TMaaS) which is a cloud-based platform.
What about the availability of this smart tyre technology in the market?
JK Tyre already has a smart tyre system available in the replacement market. We have acquired a small sensor-based company and renamed it TREEL. JK Tyre is engaged in discussions with two-three OEMs to provide this system as a factory fitment option and OE launches still might take another 5-6 months.
How do you create awareness about the advantages of the smart tyre technology?
JK Tyre will utilise the digital medium for this purpose as it has a wider reach for the tyre-specific audience. We have a 360-degree education plan, with forums and other discussions, which will be implemented shortly. In the trucking sector JK fits sample tyre sets so that fleet owners may see the advantages first-hand. Rivigo is one such fleet customer, which is running JK Smart tyres on all its units. Two-wheelers owners, too, at both the commuter and premium segment, will observe increased fuel efficiency on the former and safety at high speeds for the latter. JK Tyre has to spread the word so that each and every one can contribute towards reducing carbon footprint and these smart tyres are another step in that direction.
Talk us about your other concepts showcased at the Auto Expo?
JK also exhibited puncture-proof tyre, coloured tyre, EV tyre and tubeless radial concept. The puncture-resistant technology involves sealants, which repair the damage automatically. Coloured tyres will be able to capture the interest of style-savvy customers, who will be able to match the tread colouring according to their preferences. EVs are quieter and need lower rolling resistance against their ICE counterparts. The JK EV tyre concept has an enhanced tread pattern to improve n these parameters. The tubeless radial concept is specifically designed for fleet operators by adding more silica to improve braking performance and enhance efficiency in the commercial vehicle sector.