The Eagle 360 Urban is covered in sensors that allow it to dynamically adjust to road conditions
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to hit the road in an alternative fashion to driverless cars, thanks to an AI powered concept tyre from Goodyear.
The tyre maker debuted the Eagle 360 Urban, a 3D printed sensor-leaden spherical tyre with feeds back road data into an AI ‘brain’ allowing for the tyre to by dynamically adjusted to suit changing road conditions.
Covered in a super-elastic polymer that acts as a form of bionic skin for the tyre, and a morphing tread, the Eagle 360 Urban can use actuators to dynamically change the tread design of the tyre without compromising its support of the vehicles it is connected to.
This allows the tyre to be adjusted for different driving conditions on the fly, for example in wet conditions dimples can be added to the treads to provide extra grip, while in dry conditions the tyre can be smoothed out to allow for smoother driving.
If the bionic skin is damaged, the tyre’s sensors will detect the problem and prompt the tyre to rotate to avoid contact of the damaged section with the road, thereby reducing pressure on that section of the tyre and allowing a self-healing process to start through the use of material that react physically and chemically together to form monocular bonds to repair punctures.
The Goodyear Eagle 360 Urban’s AI unit is not simply designed to change the tyre’s parameters dynamically, but also acts as a means to share data with other vehicles on road conditions and learn about the best way to adapt to road conditions through firing data through an artificial neural network running deep learning algorithms, which basically allows the AI to pick apart and process information in a fashion similar to the human brain.
The idea is to use the tyre in autonomous cars, whereby the AI can feedback data for improving a car’s braking, handling and efficiency.
“A revolution will take place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity. As this unfolds, tyre technology will be even more important than it is today. To safely navigate their surroundings, the autonomous vehicles of the future will need to learn to cope with the millions of possible unknowns we face in every day driving scenarios. To do so they will need access to data and the ability to learn and adapt,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Essentially, the tyre represents another step in the Internet of Things (IoT) and its role in the automotive world, providing the concept tyre can become a reality that car makers fined easy to adopt and are willing to use a tyre that features a design and capabilities well beyond those they are traditionally used to.
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