SEOUL, South Korea — Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based "Virtual Compound Design" (VCD) system that it claims will be able to predict the characteristics of a tire compound, thus eliminating the need for actual testing.
Hankook's VCD system uses technology that predicts the characteristics of compounds and draws the optimal combination of materials through AI analysis that is based on accumulated data, the tire maker said in a press release.
Hankook said it expects the VCD system to reduce by half the compound development process, which can take from six months to three years.
The VCD project began as an internal research operation that later was accelerated by collaboration with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology beginning early in 2019, according to Hankook.
"Since then, the accuracy of data analysis has been greatly improved, currently showing an increased reliability of more than 95%," it said.
With the successful application of VCD to tire compounding, Hankook said it plans to expand the technology to all aspects of tire development, including material selection, design, tire testing and production, including mass production.
"In addition, the company plans to accelerate the introduction of data-based innovation technologies based on accumulated data throughout the tire industry ecosystem," it said. This will include materials supply and demand, research and development, distribution and customer usage, it said.
The new development system operates within the cloud platform by creating a "Digital Twin," Hankook said, a twin of real-life objects, repeating the process of reflecting results derived from virtual simulations into reality and affecting each other over reality and virtual reality to find improved results.
Tens of thousands of units of data have been analyzed through cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google's TensorFlow, an artificial intelligence engine, continuing their evolution through machine learning, Hankook said.