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Falken Tyre’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has successfully developed technology that generates electric power from tyre rotation and supplies this to peripheral tyre sensors. It marks a major leap towards achieving Sensing Core Technology applications that will be instrumental in enabling future mobility trends.
Developed in collaboration with Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, SRI’s Tyre Internal Power Generation Technology breakthrough has been achieved thanks to the addition of a power charging function to the ‘energy harvester’ situated on the inside of the tyre. Static electricity generated during tyre rotation is harnessed and used to charge a power control circuit, which in turn activates and supplies power to an external sensor.
The structures and materials involved in harvesting frictional energy have also been optimised to greatly improve the generated output. SRI’s verification testing has shown that when a tyre is running at 50km/h, the system produces over 800 µW of power, which is enough to activate an external sensor without the use of batteries and achieve continuous Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmission.
“To date, the limited battery life of sensor devices has been one of the greatest obstacles to making tyre sensing technology a reality,” says Dr Bernd Löwenhaupt, managing director, Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH. “This development is therefore important for SRI’s overarching Sensing Core Technology, which holds enormous potential for future applications such as autonomous vehicles.”
SRI is actively engaged in wide-ranging research and development for its Smart Tyre Concept, of which Sensing Core Technology is a key component in ensuring the overall safety of mobility operations while significantly reducing maintenance costs. The forward-thinking concept is accelerating the development of tyres and peripheral services to meet the demands of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric), MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and other new mobility innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.