Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. has been working together with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University on the joint development of an innovative power generating device (energy harvester*) that harnesses the rotation of a tire to generate electricity, which can then be used to provide power for peripheral sensors installed in and around tires without relying on batteries. We are pleased to announce that we have now succeeded in developing “techniques for measuring tire wear status and contact footprint” utilizing these energy harvesters.
This latest advancement makes it possible to calculate tire footprint length and rotation cycle in addition to device voltage levels based on voltage waveform data obtained from each energy harvester as tires rotate while in contact with the road. The results of these calculations can then be extrapolated to estimate tire wear levels. At the same time, we have also developed a technique for measuring a tire’s contact footprint, which involves installing multiple miniaturized energy harvesters within each tire in order to obtain data on the contact footprint in the direction of width. In addition to opening up the door to various applications for tire solutions services, these new technologies are also sure to provide a wealth of knowhow that can then be put to use in future tire development.
Toward the accomplishment of “Driving Our Future Challenge 2050,” the Long-Term Sustainability Policy that we set forth in August 2021, the Sumitomo Rubber Group is actively engaged in various efforts to solve pressing issues related to the earth’s environment, social harmony and governance. In order to adeptly respond to what is being called a “once-in-a-century” transformation of our motorized society, the Sumitomo Rubber Group will continue working to contribute to the realization of a brighter and more prosperous future for all by providing new solutions services for greater overall safety and wellbeing with less environmental impact.
*Energy harvesting refers to technologies that capture, collect and harness ambient energy, which is a catchall term for light, vibration, heat and other forms of energy that are present in minute quantities all around us. This ambient energy usually goes to waste if not harvested.