Driving vehicles is going to be smarter in the coming future as the tyres are set to evolve with advanced technology. Soon the technology will enable us to know the wear, acceleration, temperature and other factors concerned with the tyres. Through the use of advanced devices tyres are set to become smarter as well as better suited to an array of vehicles; electrical, hybrids as well as plug-in hybrids.
Hankook Tyre Co. Ltd., South Korea’s top tyre manufacturer, in October opened up a $250 million “Technodome” research and development center in Daejeon, near Seoul. This multi-storey building with 1 million square foot structure is a testimony of the company’s ambition to reach top-tier status alongside the likes of Michelin, Bridgestone and other better-known names in tyre making industry.
As per Hankook Tyre’s Vice Chairman and CEO, Seung Hwa Suh, the Technodome will be a “great foundation to lead the future of tyre technology”. The company also unveiled plans to build a large test track that will permit vehicles to reach the speed of 180 miles per hour.
Currently, Hankook and other tyre manufacturers are facing technological difficulties with electric vehicles. While electric vehicles serve consumers more or less likely as the conventional vehicles do, but their performance is different thus requiring different tyres. As electric vehicles are quiet in driving, they need quieter tyres too. EV’s acceleration is faster than the conventional vehicle of the same weight. So the manufacturers are looking to optimise the range and make tyres for EV’s that have less grip
Hankook is OE on Mercedes-Benz C350e, Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid car. They supply their Enfren Eco to Ford C-MAX Energi PHEV. Enfren Eco employs many technologies including a special silica compound and bespoke structural design to minimise energy loss and to optimise fuel efficiency.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more relevant, it will surely reach the tyres also. Hankook forecasts embedded tyre sensors that will detect and report road friction, road conditions, overload warnings and other factors affecting safety and ride.