TyreWatch, a predictive tyre management was launched recently in May at the Harwell Innovation and Science Campus in Oxfordshire.
Tyre related issues remain the most common cause of roadside breakdown for fleet operators. With research performed by Highways England and Bridgestone over the past 18 months, confirming that three-quarters of tyre failure is the consequence of under-inflation or debris penetration. With this in mind, TyreWatch has been designed to improve productivity and efficiency across fleets, through keeping a persistent watch on tyre condition.
TyreWatch monitors pressure and temperature with sensors mounted on the wheel rim. This enables it to work with existing tyres and across fleets running multi-brand tyre policies. Where it differs from other TPMS solutions, is it sends data back to a central server for analysis. Data is securely sent using both cellular and satellite communications to achieve connectivity virtually everywhere, irrespective of 4G signal strength. There is no display for the driver to observe, just a dash mounted warning light.
The TyreWatch server receives tyre data in real-time and publishes it to the secure web portal and through a series of instant push notifications. This delivers visibility on the condition of every tyre in the fleet from the comfort of the fleet managers desk. The server continuously analyses the data against specific baselines for each vehicle. Should it identify an escalating pressure or temperature trend, the artificial intelligence recommends appropriate corrective action.
Glenn Sherwood, Director of TyreWatch, explained: "If the pressure loss is slow and above warning baselines, then TyreWatch issues a maintenance alert and continues to monitor for correction when it returns to the depot or workshop. This catches the issue early, removing the risk for roadside failure tomorrow."
Mark Longden, Director, added: "We audit new fleets when installing TyreWatch, typically finding the average pressure is 10% below the manufacturers specification. This increases fuel consumption by 1% and tyre wear by 10%. With TyreWatch providing better visibility on pressures across fleets, meaning they’ll benefit from reduced fuel consumption, extending the service tyre life and minimising the carbon footprint."
Sherwood continued: "If the pressure loss or temperatures are increasing quickly, the technology raises a critical alert. The driver can safely find a location to stop so the tyre service provider can take corrective action. This reduces unexpected downtime, improves road safety for everyone and saves the tyre if it is repairable."
Innovatively, the system continues to monitor after the vehicle has finished for the day. With the frequency of monitoring reduced to every 15 minutes, it will detect a puncture caused by debris as the vehicle returned to base.