Smart technology is everywhere. We move towards smartness every day. Intelligent mobile phones (now called smartphones), televisions (smart TV) and even watches, or rather smartwatches are getting smarter all the time.
Pirelli has taken an approach to being smart, developing Pirelli Cyber Tyre in cooperation with prestigious Milan Polytechnic University. Cyber Tyre is the result of the latest technological developments of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). Project goals keep the focus on what is most important: greater safety and reliability by enhancing driver interaction with in-vehicle technologies.
The smart tyre can "read" the road surface through an intelligent sensor (just one square centimeter in size and 13 grams in weight) inserted inside the tyre. The sensor provides real-time information about the force of contact between tyre and asphalt surface (conditions, grip, speed, margins before aquaplaning, tread wear…). The sensor communicates by wireless with all vehicle's electronic devices and supplies the driver with useful information coming from the road, thus advising the driver to change his style of driving (change the speed, brake…).
Elisabetta Leo, from the department of mechanical engineering of Milan Polytechnic University, explains: "Our research has confirmed that it's possible to improve ADAS systems, knowing the values of potential friction coefficients. Thanks to the data obtained by Cyber tyres we can collect precise indications on the vital security distances between one vehicle and the other one, as well as trajectories to be followed when turning and related speed limit".
It is estimated that the ADAS market is expected to reach 7.2 billion euro by 2020 (starting from 1.1 billion today), involving the 70% of vehicles currently driving on the roads in Europe.
The main international goal is the development of "self-driving cars", that is cars which can drive by themselves. It may take several years before we can see these intelligent vehicles on the roads, as in James Cameron's film, but the first step has been done.