Michelin connects tires via RFID

December 14, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Michelin connects tires via RFID
While all of a vehicle's essential systems today are richly connected, another component remains largely invisible to the electronic vehicle systems: the tire. That's about to change. French tire manufacturer Michelin plans to equip all its tires with transponders that communicate their condition via RFID.

The RFID chips are intended to connect the wheels with the global ecosystem, i.e. with backend systems in the first place. This creates potential for innovation - in particular, the technology is expected to enable improved tire management throughout its life, starting from the factory until the end of the tire's service life. The - actually obvious - function of tire pressure measurement is for the time being not planned, because it would require a dedicated sensor (per tire). At least it is conceivable for the tire manufacturer to process and display the tire condition on the dashboard based on the tire identification number and an algorithm yet to be developed. Such condition monitoring will become important, especially for increasingly automated vehicles, the manufacturer estimates.

By 2023, Michelin plans to equip every new passenger car tire with the networking technology. Michelin has already been supplying parts of its passenger car tires with chips since mid-2019. The advantage of RFID technology is that it is a cost-effective way to identify tires throughout their lifetime and is very robust compared to many other smart sensors.

Thanks to tire identification, the RFID chips will, for example, enable the ESP system to adapt to the respective tire characteristics in the future: A winter tire has different braking characteristics than a summer tire - these characteristics can thus influence the driving assistance system, which attempts to prevent the vehicle from skidding by applying the brakes in a targeted manner, thus ensuring control of the vehicle.

The RFID chip can also be used to determine information about the service life of the tire and components relating to various raw materials from which the tire was manufactured. By comparing the information, recycling processes can be optimized, as tires with similar rubber compounds, for example, can be identified more easily.

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