Surveys show repeatedly that 25% of vehicles have at least one tyre 25% under-inflated. As a result, over 600,000 tyres and 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 are wasted in the UK every year. Under-inflation and wheel misalignment significantly reduce tyre life. Both can be easily detected and rectified and yet remain longstanding issues in tyre management.
Improved tyre stewardship would bring significant improvement to both the environmental impact of mobility and to road safety. In the case of truck tyre retreading, it would also increase the proportion of used tyres in a condition suitable for remanufacture, enabling further growth in this sector. (Presently, up to 50% of used tyres submitted for retreading are rejected due to damage incurred during earlier use).
Aftermarket equipment is now widely available to improve driver information regarding tyre inflation and condition. This includes retro-fit tyre pressure monitoring systems for commercial vehicles and drive-over laser reader installations for all vehicle types.
The next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles will contain a plethora of sensors capable of informing enriched driver information regarding tyre condition. However, the transformation of data from on-vehicle sensors into valuable driver information will require the expertise of tyre manufacturers.
- A combination of customer education and incentives for retro-fit technology deployment is needed to enable improved road safety and reduced environmental impact.
- Real-time access to on-vehicle data for 3rd-party service providers is a prerequisite for a generational leap forward in driver information. Regarding tyre condition, this would lead to improved road safety and product stewardship, and reduced environmental impact.