HomeNewsTyreBridgestone to launch smart tires for trucks and buses in 2024

Bridgestone to launch smart tires for trucks and buses in 2024

TOKYO – Bridgestone will start producing radio-tagged tires in 2024 for commercial vehicles like trucks and buses, linking them to a cloud-based system designed to help clients maximize the tires’ lifespan and minimize their carbon footprints.

The Tokyo-based company is slated to begin expanding its plant in Warren County, Tennessee, at the end of the year. As part of this renovation, it will install production equipment capable of embedding tires with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

Bridgestone will initially place the tags on retread tires for trucks and buses, with an eye on U.S. and European logistics providers that need to manage large fleets of vehicles. The current chip shortage extends to those used in RFID tags, and the tire maker plans to boost production as supplies allow.

The company will also set up new lines in Japan and the rest of Asia to produce RFID-tagged tires in these regions starting in 2024. It aims to shift entirely to these new tires for trucks and buses in Japan, the U.S., and Europe by 2030, and will consider eventually offering tagged passenger car tires as well.

Bridgestone currently provides a service called Tirematics, which monitors tire pressures and temperatures across client fleets using sensors on the wheels. But the platform does not track individual tires and requires extra steps during tire changes to ensure data is properly fed into the system.

By using RFID tags, Bridgestone will be able to automatically identify and track each tire at maintenance hubs and other facilities. Their unique IDs will be tied to production and repair histories, which can be retrieved instantaneously over the cloud.

The new system is expected to allow clients to adjust the pressure of individual tires in order to improve fuel efficiency and to retread them at the optimal time to extend their lifespan.

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When commercial tires wear down, they can no longer be retread and must be replaced entirely. Retreading a tire twice results in half the carbon emissions and requires half the materials as replacing it twice, according to Bridgestone.

The total carbon footprint of a tire, including for raw materials and transport, comes to 285 kilograms for those in passenger cars and 2,481 kg for those in trucks and buses. And while tires themselves do not emit carbon dioxide while the vehicle is in motion, they can impact fuel efficiency.

Tire performance and maintenance can have an impact on 26% of carbon emissions by commercial vehicles and 18% by passenger vehicles, according to the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association.

Bridgestone has acquired several fleet maintenance service providers and looks to link them to the new RFID-tagged tires to provide more value-added services. The company aims to double revenue from its solutions business, including vehicle maintenance, to around 2 trillion yen ($13.8 billion) in 2030.

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