HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The commercial truck tire industry of the future will depend on a connected tire ecosystem of advanced tread design, retreading and advanced communications, according to Joseph Saoud, president, truck, bus and retread, U.S. & Canada, for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
"This is a pivotal moment in the truck tire industry," Mr. Saoud said at the 34th Clemson University Global Tire Industry Conference, held recently in Hilton Head.
The three macro-trends in the vehicle industry are autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and shared mobility.
"When these converge, they will revolutionize the industry," he said. "Depending on who you talk to, it will happen in 10 years or much sooner than that.
"The commercial truck tire industry will first feel this, because fleets have so much to gain by streamlining their operations," he said.
Nevertheless, the advent of autonomous vehicles leaves many unanswered questions, some of them very basic, Mr. Saoud said.
"Who's going to change the tire on a driverless vehicle?" he asked.
To reap the benefits of innovation, efficiency and sustainability in this new transportation world, commercial truck tire makers must take an active approach in creating a connected tire ecosystem for themselves and their customers, according to Mr. Saoud.
"Tire manufacturers must focus on delivering holistic tire solutions, leveraging analytics and pairing insights with superior products and service to maximize tire performance," he said.
"If we can do this, greater efficiency for all stakeholders will follow."
Live monitoring and the transmission of real-time information from trucks to tire service centers is key to the success of a connected tire ecosystem.
Bridgestone, he said, is already doing this for its off-the-road tire customers.
"Maintaining tire pressure and temperature, with real-time updates, identifies problems before they become an incident," he said.