Bridgestone Middle East & Africa (MEA), the region’s leading tyre brand, continues to innovate its tyres to address the requirements of cars of the future, including autonomous vehicles, amid the steady transformation of global mobility.     

Bridgestone’s most recent innovation is the Smart Strain Sensor technology, which is equipped with the Internet of Things (IoT) tools. Through this feature, the vehicle owner can track tyre inflation pressure and temperature as well as measure the dynamic change in the strain that occurs when a tyre is in use. Additionally, the data produced via the sensor can be transmitted to other drivers on the road, thereby preventing any untoward incident such as accidents. This technology is seen to result in improved vehicle and road safety and enhanced productivity for fleets.

Reaffirming its commitment to continuous product innovation, the company stressed that it would steadily invest its resources and time to ensure that the tyre of the future it has envisioned becomes a reality. 

Stefano Sanchini, Regional Managing Director, Bridgestone MEA, said: “Amid the rising demand for higher and safer mobility, the future of the roads lies in connected cars, which, together with autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles, combine to make CASE. To elevate their performance and safety, the tyre industry has evolved accordingly. At Bridgestone, we continue to utilize tyre sensors to allow an autonomous car predict the type of surface being driven on, enable it to deal with punctures without input from the user, and capture data to determine the driving style vis-a-vis the tyre condition. Also, through predictive modelling, drivers can better estimate the mileage left to fix their tyres for higher efficiency.”

Sanchini was a panelist in the Middle East Smart Mobility held in Dubai. In the event’s panel discussion titled ‘MENA’s autonomous road map: the current vision, goals, and challenges for autonomous vehicles in the region,’ he shared Bridgestone’s vision to transform the functions and role of tyres. The company aims to make tyres not just a point of contact between the vehicle and the road, but also allow it to gather data for optimized vehicle performance and safety, increased durability and fuel efficiency, and reduced downtime. He also talked about Bridgestone’s current innovations and plans as well as his thoughts on the impact of autonomous vehicles and the ongoing mobility transformation in the region and the world. 

The company is presently involved in the development of and perfecting its connected and air-free tyre concepts.  Since 2019, it has already been equipping its new product lines of commercial tyres with an electronic tyre tagging system and data-gathering light sensors to enable real-time updates on tyre health and performance. Still on the works are its air-free concept and run-flat technology.

Made of resilient materials, including the company-developed high-strength rubber, for longer wear life, Bridgestone tyres have a low rolling resistance that has been reduced by 21 per cent. Reduced rolling resistance has an added advantage for electrical vehicles, in that it can extend battery life and increase the vehicles’ driving range.