Since April, the Michelin group has been selling a smart tyre which makes it possible to collect various useful sets of data on how the vehicle that it is fitted to is performing. It was initially designed for racing cars but could also be of use off the track.

Michelin has designed the first ever connected tyre, which analyses the road-holding of the vehicle it is fitted to, according to French financial newspaper Les Echos. This system has been developed over a period of 18 months and goes by the name of Track Connect. It is "the fruit of a meeting in June 2016 with a whole host of sports car owners who are used to spending their days on the racetrack," the French group explained in a press release. 

 

Designed for sports cars

 

Sports car owners are "highly attentive" to tyre pressure "and in some cases to the importance of monitoring their temperature", the Michelin press release continues. "These very consumers had already realised that they did not have reliable measuring tools at their disposal (...) or ones that were of the required level of expertise to determine which pressure to have to optimise the handling of their vehicle on-track and get the most pleasure out of driving and performance."

After nine months of development, the Track Connect connected tyre has undergone another nine months of tests carried out to begin with in a workshop, then in genuine conditions in Germany at the Nürburgring circuit. Finally, the tyre was tested by the members of the Auvergne Porsche Club – the second biggest club in France – from March to October 2017.

 

Data before, during and after the race

 

The Michelin connected tyre provides three stages of support. To begin with before the race, the driver can use the application to find out the best tyre pressure based on driving conditions (for example the state of the track). During the race, the tyre transmits data on the pressure and the temperature of the four tyres in real time using sensors in the rubber.

Finally, after the race, Track Connect "indicates the adjustments to be made before going back on track", according to Michelin. When the pressure is ideally adapted to the conditions, the life-span of the tyre can be optimised. All that is required to benefit from this technology is to install a little box which can transmit the data that is collected by the four sensors to a mobile application, via a USB port or a cigar-lighter.

 

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