Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tyre companies, has showed off its concept of an intelligent tyre for safer autonomous transportation. Goodyear and its technology partner, Gatik, have demonstrated, in a proof of concept, that intelligent tyres powered by Goodyear SightLine technology can accurately estimate tyre-road friction potential and provide real-time information to Gatik’s automated driving system (ADS).
The breakthrough will add more utility to what a tyre can deliver, by providing critical data that can help enhance vehicle safety and performance, thereby increasing efficiency and value for Gatik’s customers in the B2B (business-to-business) short haul market.
Founded in 2017, Gatik is a leading provider in autonomous middle mile logistics, delivering goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium duty trucks. The company focuses on short-haul, B2B logistics for Fortune 500 retailers such as Loblaw, Walmart, KBX and Georgia-Pacific. In 2021, it became the first company worldwide to operate fully driverless commercial deliveries on the middle mile.
Together with Goodyear, Gatik recently deployed the road-friction detection capabilities in Canada through continuous measurement of tyre sensor-derived information which is paired with other vehicle data and connected to Goodyear’s cloud-based proprietary algorithms to optimise vehicle performance. Friction estimates from Goodyear’s SightLine solution were successfully able to detect low grip conditions, such as snowy or icy conditions, and make this information available to Gatik’s autonomous fleet, enhancing safety and performance for Gatik’s commercial operations in Canada’s challenging winter climate.
With road-friction data, tyres can help enable smoother, safer and more sustainable driving. This is critical information for autonomous vehicles in terms of path planning and providing recommendations for safe driving speed, vehicle acceleration limits and vehicle following distance.
The Goodyear SightLine technology is designed to measure the tyre wear state, load, inflation pressure and temperature. It combines that with real-time road-weather data and proprietary rubber friction models to estimate the tyre-road friction potential. Having this information in real time enables Gatik’s fleet to respond to challenging conditions safely and efficiently within its operational design domain (ODD). While Goodyear’s SightLine technology has tremendous future implications for autonomous driving, this year, it is anticipated that Goodyear will also be deploying Goodyear SightLine technology on select original equipment vehicles bringing immediate utility to today’s mobility market.
“The tyre is the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground, and this new level of data sophistication can communicate vital information to the vehicle, enhancing safety and performance,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s senior vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer. “This is another step to evolve the tyre to not only deliver its core, traditional job but also be a nexus of new data and information”.
“At Gatik, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with a solution that continues to raise industry standards in safety, efficiency and performance,” said Arjun Narang, Gatik’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder. “Using Goodyear’s groundbreaking SightLine technology helps us to operationalise these principles and ensures that we’re delivering greater value and enhancing safety on the middle mile today.”
Gatik’s Class 3-6 autonomous box trucks are commercially deployed in multiple markets including Ontario in Canada, and Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana in USA.