TOKYO — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI), in collaboration with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, has developed a technology to generate electric power from the rotation of a tire.
The process involves installing a power-generating device (energy harvester) inside a tire to convert static electricity occurring within a tire into clean energy, the Japanese tire and rubber company said.
The new device uses "frictional charging" to generate electric power each time a tire's footprint deforms as a tire rotates.
"We believe that this technology holds great potential for practical applications as a power source for various automotive digital tools," SRI said in a statement.
The project is part of SRI's "smart tire concept," which aims to respond to the changes occurring throughout the automotive industry. The concept also addresses various parameters including safety, environmental performance and digitalization.
SRI expects the new technology to be used as a power source for sensors in tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) and other automotive devices.
The company said it would continue working on the research with support from the Japanese Science and Technology Agency.