Toyo Tire Corporation has announced the development of a system that monitors changes in conditions of tyres for trucks, buses, and other transport vehicles and gathers data on the driving conditions of individual vehicles. They have also developed an AI-programmed model that estimates the state of tyre wear based on data gathered by the system, as well as external information such as manufacturer and weather data.
A Brand New Maintenance Solution for Logistics Support
■ A new maintenance solution for logistics service
Toyo Tire knows the importance of proper tyre maintenance. A common practice in the transport industry is that engineers use devices to manually measure the tread depth of individual tyres to check for wear every one to three months. In an improvement to this cumbersome process, this innovative estimation model monitors the use conditions of tyres to achieve proper maintenance without having to physically take measurements.
Going forward, they hope to develop this model into a full-fledged business for transport service providers and offer incidental maintenance support that only a tyre specialist can. This maintenance solution will also address other issues customers might have, such as safety and cost reduction, as it tells them when to replace and rotate their tyres, provides the optical driving routes, and gives them tips on driving so that they can extend the lifespan of their tyres, while at the same time allowing tyre recommendations that meet their specific needs.
■ The automated tyre information gathering system for trucks and buses
This automated gathering system uses sensors installed on wheels of trucks, buses, and other transport vehicles to automatically gather data on tyre conditions, such as air pressure and internal temperature. This system creates cloud stores of real-time information on location and acceleration by using the GPS.
The amount of wear and aging patterns of tyres vary considerably depending on the service details of each vehicle. This system automatically gathers and stocks the set of information needed to increase the estimation accuracy of tyres' conditions. With this original system, Toyo Tire aims to create a scheme for transport businesses to use this real-time data for the maintenance of their vehicles.
■The tyre use (wear) state estimation model for trucks and buses
This estimation model combines the data gathered in the automated tyre information gathering system with tyres' manufacturer data, weather and other information from external databases. It also uses AI to analyse the data that has been collected, estimating and detecting the tyres' use conditions with higher accuracy.
■ Toyo Tire's innovation partner
Toyo Tire teamed up with Nihon Tata Consultancy Services Co. Ltd for the development of the automated tyre information gathering system for trucks and buses and SAS Institute Japan Ltd for the development of the tyre use (wear) state estimation model for trucks and buses.
■ Toyo Tire's unique advantage made possible by digital technology
Toyo Tire uses two sets of base technologies: one is for the development of materials from scratch, and the other is for product design by using state-of-the-art simulation technology. Apart from achieving a smart factory concept through the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) at their production sites, they also aim to achieve an organic linkage among digital data at customer contacts by, for example, pursuing a plan to develop "sensing tires" through highly evolving the inherent functions of tyres and creating new maintenance solutions like the ones mentioned above. Their goal is to form a "loop of added value," which involves feedback of data on the status of use by customers to the materials development team and tyre design team, which in turn optimises production, and so on.