The automotive industry has been rapidly changing over the past few years. Electric charging stations popping up around the country. And the idea of a “self-driving car” is no longer limited to science-fiction novels. All of these changes have tire industry leaders wondering what these technologies mean for the future of tires.
The predicted changes appear to work in a cycle. Technological advancements will help manufacturers improve the quality of tires for different vehicles, and these new tires will help advancements in technology succeed on the road. We are excited for the future of the tire industry and how technology will change the way that people buy and maintain tires.
What are some things to expect?
Tires Will Be Smarter
Many technology innovations focus on connection: Bluetooth connects your car to your phone, cameras connect your mirrors and provide better vision, and so on. Well, “smart” tires will potentially connect your tires to your car and other vehicles.
What’s the point?
Smart tires collect data about the roads and overall tire performance. By sending it to your car (as well as other vehicles) they will help to bolster safety, maintain even tread wear, and increase tire longevity. This information can also help manufacturers understand how to improve current models and reduce overall fuel consumption.
Autonomous Vehicles Require Different Design Features
Auto industry leaders expect self-driving cars to hit the roads in a big way soon. This will have a huge impact on the tires that are produced and how they are sold throughout the world. Autonomous vehicles require tires that can handle heavier weights and ensure top-notch safety. This certainly comes with challenges, but these challenges can be met due to data from “smart” tires and other research that benefits the entire automotive industry.
A rise in electric autonomous vehicles will also shed light on the sustainability of tires. Sustainable tires require more than just recycled rubber. The longer drivers can maintain high-quality tires, the less they will need to be changed out. In other words, they can last longer and drivers won’t have to buy new ones as often.
Tires Will Face More Wear and Tear
Transportation trends point to the same tires facing more use than ever before. Ridesharing and self-driving fleets are likely to take the industry by storm (with ridesharing becoming even more popular than it is now). This means that the same tires will have to drive more miles throughout the day.
It is more important than ever to communicate with your clients about tire maintenance. Tires that face more mileage face more risks. Your team should prioritize conversations about the changes in the tire industry and how it will affect how customers maintain their wheels.
Tires Will Be Safer
Safety is a growing concern amongst drivers due to the rise of “scary” self-driving vehicles. Consumers want to have assurances that new models will be safe. With more potential wear and tear on tires, there is a higher demand to improve their safety features.
Luckily, technologies like RFID sensors are helping fleets maintain large numbers of tires and perform required maintenance before it poses a threat to drivers. Other forms of “smart” technology are giving the tire industry the information it needs to create the safest products and keep these products on the road for longer.
Two big challenges for manufacturers who want to improve tire safety include increasing rolling resistance and extended mobility, the technology that allows people to keep driving on tires at significant speeds and distances, even after they have suffered a total loss of pressure.
The data gathered from smart technology has the potential to create tires with these improved features.
Get Prepared for These Innovations
Technology creates challenges for tire manufacturers, but it also offers opportunities for growth and increased customer satisfaction. As new features and innovations roll out, make sure you communicate with your staff and customers about their options and which tires best meet their needs.