WASHINGTON-Goodyear will get $2 million from the U.S. Department of Defense for advanced development of its ``smart'' truck tire. The DOD Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded the grant to Goodyear to divide among its research contractors, the company announced April 6. Those contractors include Case Western Reserve University and Wen H. Ko & Associates, both in Cleveland; and Phase IV Engineering, Boulder, Colo.
Those contractors are now refining Goodyear's ``smart tire'' technology, which consists of computer chips embedded in tires to provide tire identification and tire performance information.
Goodyear began evaluating com-puter devices for the technology in 1986, and began extensive development three years later.
Current prototype smart tire models from Goodyear provide temperature and pressure sensing as well as identification. Future versions, according to the Akron-based tire maker, will provide tire temperature history, revolutions and other data of interest to the trucking industry.
``Goodyear has learned over the past eight years.*.*.*that chips and electronics face an extremely harsh environment in tires,'' said Bryan L. Kinnamon, Goodyear general manager for commercial tires. ``Any equipment entered in this arena must be extremely durable and cost-effective.''
This announcement followed closely on Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. unveiling its prototype ``active'' computer chip for truck tires. BFS said its invention will provide truck fleet managers with ``real time'' information on tire temperature and inflation pressure.