Sumitomo Reveals Roadmap for “Smart Tire”

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries revealed its roadmap for “smart tire” innovation at the Tokyo Motor Show. The roadmap includes plans to develop innovative tire products to meet the requirements of safety, connected mobility and sustainability.

In 2020, Sumitomo plans to start production of a new tire that will maintain like-new performance for a longer duration. Sumitomo will also debut a concept tire in the same year created from new materials meant to enhance the tire’s environmental performance.

By 2023, Sumitomo plans to develop and debut a new concept tire that will have an “active tread” technology, which will allow the tire to maintain high levels of performance even when the road conditions are bad.

Other innovations on the roadmap include:

  • Sensor technology “that will allow tires to behave as sensors with the installation of a proprietary algorithm in a vehicle’s brake system.” In addition to supporting vehicle control performance, the data collected can help other motorists as well as support future tire development.
  • Technology to adjust the functionality of tread rubber based on changes in road conditions, “making driving safer and more comfortable even when there are sudden changes in road conditions during automated driving”.
  • New materials to better control and compensate for rubber deterioration.
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