Q&A with Chris Queen, director of innovation technology, Goodyear

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Queen discusses the partnership with Local Motors to equip its Olli autonomous passengers shuttles with tires

Why Goodyear chose to partner with Local Motors? Local Motors is one of the first to have Level 4 autonomous shuttles in operation. This, in addition, to a cutting-edge 3D manufacturing approach, makes Local Motors a key company with which to learn and build future solutions together.

Why did you chose this region?
We are connecting with regions that are at the forefront of the new mobility ecosystem. In the USA, for example, Detroit and Ann Arbor in Michigan are investing in new mobility solutions and are relatively local to our Akron headquarters. We are also working and collaborating to be a part of it.

Have the tires been tweaked for the application in any way and what intelligent features will they have?
The primary tires being used on the Olli are Assurance MaxLife from our existing strong product line-up. Intelligence can be added to any of our tires. Initially, Olli will feature Proactive Solutions, which includes a sensor and algorithms to identify slow leaks and low pressure, to optimize fleet maintenance practices. The technology involves some of the same sensors and data processing as featured on the tire we presented at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

What scenarios do you expect to gain an insight into?
Data gathering allows Goodyear to help a fleet optimize its maintenance and operations. In addition to supporting the fleet operations, Goodyear gets to see how a ‘perfect’ driver can have an impact on tire performance.

What are the maintenance considerations for the sensor and how is it implemented in the tire?
The sensors are intended to stay with the tire throughout its life and require no maintenance. The sensor is attached to the innerliner of the tire after the manufacturing process has been completed.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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