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Goodyear concepts debut at Geneva Auto Salon

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(Goodyear photos) Goodyear is showing off its "chip-in-tire" technology, in a Dunlop SportMaxx RT tire, at the Geneva Auto Salon.

GENEVA, Switzerland (March 7, 2014) — Goodyear is offering visitors to the 2014 Geneva Auto Salon sneak peeks at two innovations it has in the works — an “intelligent tire” concept using embedded microchips and a twin air-chambered SUV tire.

The “chip-in-tire” technology, seen at the Geneva show in a Dunlop SportMaxx RT tire, allows the tire to communicate directly with a vehicle’s onboard computer to enhance vehicle performance, Goodyear Dunlop Europe said.

The system, according to Goodyear, uses a battery-less microchip, attached to the inside of the tire, that can relay information on tire pressure, temperature and tire identification details to the vehicle’s computer, which then is able to refine the vehicle’s longitudinal and lateral control algorithms on the fly to deliver improved driving performance.

Goodyear previewed at the Geneva show a twin-chambered SUV concept tire.

Among the improvements Goodyear claims is possible are reduced stopping distances when ABS is activated, improved cornering response, improved yaw stability and optimized stability control systems.

“Today’s advanced vehicle control systems can greatly benefit from tire specific information,” said Marc Engel, senior engineer. “We have always understood that when we were able to gather this information, we could deliver new levels of driving performance to the car.

“Tire properties change significantly and tire type, inflation and temperature play a major role,” Mr. Engel said. “If a vehicle knows those dynamic properties, its control systems can take them into account and deliver an improved overall performance.”

Placing the chip inside the tire means the chip is not subject to damage, Goodyear said.

The Akron-based tire maker is testing the system for market implementation, and said it worked with Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst G.m.b.H. & Co. K.G., a Velbert, Germany-based maker of mechanical and electrical locking systems, tire pressure monitoring systems and telematic systems, to develop and refine the technology.

Goodyear joins several other tire companies offering what has become known as “intelligent” tires. Among them are Continental A.G., Group Michelin, Nokian Tyres P.L.C., Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.

The other concept being previewed is the twin-chambered SUV tire featuring a large central groove, a design element Goodyear claims should deliver a number of performance enhancements, including reduced rolling resistance, increased water and mud evacuation, lower weight and “extended mobility” possibilities, while retaining the load-carrying capability necessary for SUVs.

This prototype offers the potential for greatly enhanced wet weather traction because of the large central groove, a concept others have tried to achieve in the past with a twin tire design — mounting two narrow tires on a single, adapted rim.

The concept’s twin air chambers suggest a potential mobility solution, Goodyear said. The chambers are interconnected through a valve system that is designed to allow the tire to continue to roll even after a puncture of one of the chambers.

The as-yet unnamed tire is being shown at Geneva fitted to Hyundai Motor Co.’s “Intrado” concept car.

The tire also features “Auto-Clean Hydrophobic” textures designed to expel mud and other solids from the tread, and advanced noise-absorbing textures in tread grooves.

The tire bears a resemblance to the Michelin Catamaran, a concept tire the French tire maker showed in the mid-1990s with a deep center channel, anchored by a third bead in the channel.

It also appears to draw on information contained in a U.S. patent — “Tire with deep tread grooves” — issued in 2007 to John Roedseth of Goodyear. That patent also references a third bead built into the deep groove.

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