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Frankfurt show: Continental debuts new tyre tech

Rubber soul: Continental has invented new technologies that allow its tyres to intelligently read road conditions and adapt accordingly.

Continental reveals pair of new intelligent tyre innovations to promote safety

13 Sep 2017

TYRE-MAKER Continental has used the Frankfurt motor show to reveal a pair of smart new tyre technologies named ContiSense and ContiAdapt, which can adjust the tread and pressure of the tyres, as well as monitor factors such as road temperature and surface.

Using electronically conductible rubber compounds that enable electric signals to be sent from a sensor in the tyre to a receiver in the car, the tyre sensors are able to continually monitor both tread depth and temperature.

If the tread depth or temperature are outside the normal parameters, or if the tyre suffers a puncture, the sensors will be able to instantly alert the driver.

Continental anticipates that in the future, the ContiSense system will feature additional sensors that can detect road temperature and surface quality such as the presence of snow.

To counteract changes in road surfaces and driving conditions, the ContiAdapt system works with the new variable-width rim to adjust tyre pressure using micro-compressors integrated into the wheel.

By adjusting tyre pressure and width to four different settings, the ContiAdapt system can change the amount of tread on the road, for ideal grip in wet, uneven, slippery and normal conditions.

The system will use a smaller contact patch with high tyre pressure for dry, smooth roads, while slippery roads will call for lower tyre pressures with a larger contact patch.

Tyre pressures can go as low as one bar to aid in extreme situations such as exiting a parking space in deep snow or driving on patches of black ice.

Complementing the new technologies is a concept tyre that features three different tread zones for driving on wet, slippery and dry surfaces.

Different tread zones are activated based on tyre pressure and rim width, giving the driver the desired tyre footprint for the prevailing conditions.

Continental hopes the new concepts will be the next step in establishing smart communication between the tyre and vehicle, and can be instrumental in the impending arrival of automated driving technologies.

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