HANNOVER, Germany—Continental A.G., parent of Continental General Tire Inc. in the U.S., has won a major contract to supply its intelligent tire system for a global car platform. Production will begin in 2002 for a 2003 production model, said Chairman Stephan Kessel. He would not name the customer because of a confidentiality agreement.
The patented "smart tire" has been under development since the mid-1990s, and Conti's acquisition of ITT Automotive's brake and chassis business in 1998 has allowed the company to mate .
The contract is a breakthrough for Continental. The company's ITS system is the first to use tire-based sensors to control a car's brake and traction systems.
ITS measures the deformation of the sidewall of a tire, allowing closer monitoring of the forces between tire and road. This results in a shorter stopping distance and better maneuverability.
Continental's ITS system has been widely shown and tested, but until now Continental had not won any customers.