AKRON — Goodyear is collaborating on a pilot program with Envoy Technologies, an electric-vehicle car-sharing service, aiming to minimize operational downtime for vehicle fleets.
Culver City, Calif.-based Envoy is using Goodyear's predictive tire-servicing program to forecast and schedule tire maintenance and replacement. Goodyear gathers data from Envoy's connected vehicles and will use its proprietary artificial intelligence technology to predict maintenance.
Then the system automatically schedules service, which is done utilizing the tire maker's outlets and mobile vans, which are dispatched to install tires onsite at their charging stations, thus maintaining vehicle safety.
Envoy's fleet managers can see its fleet's status, schedule maintenance and update appointments with Goodyear's on-demand scheduling program, helping to keep vehicles operational, Goodyear said, and avoid unforeseen issues that might force a shared vehicle to be pulled from service.
The goal is to minimize operational downtime for Envoy's fleet, Goodyear said.
Envoy, founded two years ago, offers on-demand, community-based electric vehicles and says a significant portion of its fleet is in disadvantaged communities.
The company has more than 100 vehicles on the roads, with 1,800 vehicles expected to launch soon in major metropolitan areas, including Portland, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, New York, Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C.
"With on-demand car sharing and ride-hailing services on the rise, Goodyear is extending its fleet services business model to shared mobility providers to improve urban fleet operations," Chris Helsel, Goodyear's chief technology officer, said.
Mr. Helsel said that one of the keys of this project is that it links the tire maker's work in fleet management and intelligent products with its service network.
For Envoy, it's about being prepared for its customers.
"This pilot with Goodyear helps us provide more comprehensive fleet-management services and ensures vehicle readiness for our customers," Envoy co-founder Aric Ohana said. "As Envoy continues to expand across the nation, Goodyear is uniquely positioned to provide the type of support needed to keep fleets on the streets."
Goodyear increasingly finds itself working in the high-tech realm with its research. In September 2017, the company partnered with California ride-share service Tesloop, a city-to-city mobility service that exclusively used Tesla electric vehicles, to test intelligent tires.
Also in 2017, Goodyear agreed to purchase Ventech Systems G.m.b.H., a Germany-based developer of automated tire inspection technology under the trade name PneuScan.
The acquisition of Ventech Systems builds on the tire maker's Proactive Solutions fleet management business by being able to offer a user-friendly, closed loop service that measures tire pressure, tread depth and vehicle weight of vehicles that drive over Ventech's PneuScan device.
Goodyear's Proactive Solutions for truck fleets uses advanced telematics and predictive analytics technology to allow fleet operators to optimize fuel efficiency and identify and resolve tire-related issues ahead of time.
In May 2018, Goodyear teamed with Mcity, a public-private partnership led by the University of Michigan to develop connected and automated vehicle technology. The tire maker conducts tests at the Mcity proving grounds.
And Goodyear isn't keeping things on the ground. Last summer, it announced it would test tire components in space in the International Space Station's U.S. National Laboratory.
Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Tire Business, contributed to this story.