Bridgestone and ZMP, a provider of products and services based on advanced robotics technologies, have launched a project in which they will utilize automated driving in tire noise tests. The two companies have already succeeded in using automotive driving of manned vehicles at Bridgestone’s proving ground, and are working to achieve SAE Level 4 automated driving of unmanned vehicles for practical application in tire noise tests in 2019.
Currently, Bridgestone is conducting various tire performance tests on its proving grounds that involve test drivers operating vehicles. ZMP will develop automated driving technologies specially for the project based on its RoboCar MiniVan, and Bridgestone’s expertise in tire testing.
Recently, tire noise regulations have been introduced in Europe, Asia, Japan and other countries and regions around the world, a trend that is indicative of a larger movement calling for the reduction of the noise produced by tires when driving. By using automated driving to perform tests without relying on the skills and expertise of test drivers, Bridgestone aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of tests and thereby increase the quality of its products. In addition, Bridgestone hopes to utilize the insight gained through this project in the development of tires for self-driving cars and other next-generation automobiles.