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Continental rolls out hi-tech self-inflating tyre

Safety, eco benefits obvious with Conti’s latest self-pressurising tyre concept

4 Oct 2019

GLOBAL automotive supplier Continental recently rolled out its latest tyre technology in a new concept that taps into hi-tech connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles.


The headline act is the German tyre giant’s ongoing work on intelligent self-pressurising tyres, which in this application uses centrifugal pumps built into the wheel.


Continental says that as the vehicle accelerates, the centrifugal forces within the wheel act on the pump to generate compressed air, allowing the tyre pressure to be kept within the ideal range and help achieve “a sustainable drop in CO2 emissions” when there is a combustion engine in the mix.


The pumps are connected to an integrated storage cannister that can house excess compressed air that is produced, with the system then feeding this back into the tyre as required to adapt the pressure to the driving situation at hand.


Dubbed ‘ContiCARE’ – the latter half of the name referring to connected, autonomous, reliable, electrified – the latest concept is designed to “finetune networking of wheel and tyre technology and the manageability of the desired performance characteristics”.


Continental says these characteristics are closely aligned with the requirements of electric and autonomous driving in both individual and shared mobility scenarios such as a robotaxi fleet.


Sensors are built into the structure of the tyres to generate and continuously evaluate data concerning the tyre pressure and other parameters such as tyre temperature, tread depth and any possible damage, with the monitoring system then able to transmit this information in real time to individual drivers or fleet operators via a web-based ‘ContiConnect Live’ application.


As well as bringing obvious safety benefits, the clever tyre management system can help ensure drivers – whether private owners or part of a fleet – are operating their vehicle with maximum efficiency, which in turn should lower running costs and reduce the impact on the environment.


Among other technology built into Continental’s latest work on new-age wheels and tyres is a modified wheel rim designed to reduce vibrations generated while driving, and hence delivering a superior ride quality.

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