Bridgestone Develops Sensor Technology for Autonomous Vehicles

Bridgestone Corporation Tyres Development Sensor Technology Autonomous Vehicles Smart Strain Sensor Measures Strain Acquires Highly Reliable Data

The new Smart Strain Sensor technology measures strain and is able to acquire highly reliable data at low speeds

Bridgestone Corporation announced the development of a new technology, capable of estimating a wheel axle load and tire wear condition by using newly developed sensors attached inside the tires that measure the change in strain that occurs when a tire makes contact with the road while in motion.

The Smart Strain Sensor technology developed by Bridgestone incorporates next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In addition to tracking tire inflation pressure and temperature, the Smart Strain Sensor is able to measure the dynamic change in strain that occurs when a tire is in use. 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.

Bridgestone’s previously released sensing technology performs measurements based on accelerometer sensors, which require a certain amount of speed to acquire data. The new Smart Strain Sensor technology, however, measures strain, which is independent to speed. As such, the new technology is able to acquire highly reliable data even at low speeds.

This is an important differentiator, as autonomous vehicles are expected to be operated at low speeds for enhanced safety. Furthermore, the proprietary algorithm contributes to substantial improvements in the battery lifespan of the Smart Strain Sensor, which is critically important for practical implementation.

Detecting a potential tire-related issue before it occurs helps ensure that drivers and their vehicles are able to safely reach their destinations. Equipping tires with Smart Strain Sensors allows vehicle managers to remotely monitor information such as tire air pressure, along with metrics pertaining to load and wear in real time. By monitoring tires and predicting maintenance issues before they occur, Bridgestone aims to contribute to better safety and productivity for fleets, as well as autonomous cars in the future society.