Cologne: 04.–06.06.2024 #thetirecologne

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Products for the transportation of the future

Smart tires for the mobility of tomorrow

The tire industry is looking to the future. Innovations for tomorrow are already being developed today to make driving smarter, safer and more sustainable. But what properties will wheels and tires need to have in the future for topics such as autonomous driving and AI-controlled traffic or the changing climate?

Intelligent software solutions for seamless networking (Image: © Continental AG)

With momentum towards the mobility of tomorrow

Tires play a key role on the road to tomorrow's mobility. Their design has a direct influence on the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of a vehicle. The tire industry is therefore particularly important when it comes to challenges such as increased traffic volumes, changing weather conditions or legal guidelines for sustainability. The industry is already working on new high-performance tires for the future.

Sustainable concept tire with minimal rolling resistance (Image: © Toyo Tire Deutschland GmbH)

New concept tire from Toyo Tires with minimal rolling resistance, in which 90% of the raw materials are made from sustainable materials. © Toyo Tire Deutschland GmbH

More e-cars, improved performance

Current market studies expect a further increase in global vehicle volumes. To cope with this and at the same time protect the climate, experts see e-mobility becoming increasingly important.

To improve the performance and range of electric cars, tire aspects are being considered further. Tire manufacturers are countering the increased weight and torque of vehicles with new tread compounds for more mass and grip. At the same time, a reduction in rolling resistance enables more kilometers to be driven. The challenge for the future will be to further increase the mileage and sustainability of the tires themselves.

Airless concept tire (Image: © Hankook Reifen Deutschland GmbH)

Airless concept tire i-Flex from Hankook in cooperation with the Hyundai Motor Company. © Hankook Reifen Deutschland GmbH

Autonomous driving: Breakdown safety without air

Autonomous driving systems could also contribute to the management of future traffic. Car-to-infrastructure communication is already built into some new car models today.

With the further development of autonomous driving, maintenance costs and safety come into play. Here, airless tires could have the advantage that they do not require air pressure and are therefore largely puncture-proof and maintenance-free. Airless tires are still mainly on the market for bicycles. This could change in the future.

Further developed all-season tire for more safety (Bild: © Continental AG)

Further developed all-season tire AllSeasonContact 2 with optimized driving control in all weather conditions. © Continental AG

High performance in extreme weather

Heavy rain, heat, flooding - extreme weather conditions are occurring more and more frequently. This also increases the demand for high-performance tires that can cope with these conditions.

In future, seasonal tires will have to guarantee optimum performance in heavy rain and snow or in very hot summer temperatures. Innovative tread design and material compounds improve adaptability to these specific weather conditions. The further development of all-season tires also ensures greater safety and efficiency.

MOIA pilot project for autonomous ridepooling (Image: © MOIA GmbH)

A pilot project by MOIA with Volkswagen is currently testing autonomous ridepooling, which is to be used in Hamburg after 2025. © MOIA GmbH

On the way to intelligent tires

With the debates on the expansion of artificial intelligence, tire development is also gaining a new dynamic. On the one hand, the focus is on greater automation and efficiency in production. Virtual processes and manufacturing methods such as 3D printing could further optimize and shorten the development of tires. On the other hand, it is about the equipment of the tires themselves: Sensors for real-time data and connectivity are becoming increasingly important with mobility issues of the future: autonomous driving or shared mobility will require more networking and analysis data in the future.

New mobility concepts, legal requirements for traffic and the demands of a circular economy will continue to drive innovation in tire development. THE TIRE COLOGNE 2024 will showcase the topics that will play a role in this, presenting the industry's latest innovations and pioneering solutions at the leading international trade fair - from new tire designs, recycling and recyclable products to the workshop requirements of the future.


Leif Hallerbach I Broekman+Partner