Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now standard fit on most vehicles. However, there is one key gap in their capabilities – they are unable to detect physical damage that doesn’t result in a loss of pressure. To rectify this, Bridgestone has partnered with Microsoft to develop a real-time tire damage monitoring system.
The system will hinge on data harvested from existing sensors, and use algorithms to process this data to detect events that may damage the structure of a tire. The system will notify the driver of such events and prompt them to check for damage.
Bridgestone noted that the system could have other valuable applications beyond improving vehicle safety, such as helping inform authorities of areas where road infrastructure is degrading. Data from the system could also be used to help future autonomous vehicles avoid hazards if shared across common networks.
The company also recently acquired iTrack, a provider of tire management solutions for the off-the-road (OTR) vehicle market. Focused on the mining industry, the organization provides tire pressure monitoring systems specially designed for OTR applications. In addition to tire temperature and pressure monitoring, the iTrack tire management platform provides customizable geofencing, speed alerts and more to help mining customers optimize their operations for increased productivity and profitability.
Bridgestone started working with the former owners of iTrack, UK-based Transense, in 2019, and said it will use the acquisition to bolster the services it can offer its OTR customers.