Microsoft and Bridgestone’s New Tech Can Alert You of Tire Damage in Real-Time
F1-style telemetry for your daily driver.
Cars keep getting smarter and smarter—and no, we're not talking Skynet levels of autonomy, but it's hard to ignore just how connected or automated cars are nowadays. A major plus is that all of this new tech is supposed to make our lives easier and safer, such as a new system by tech giant Microsoft and tire manufacturer Bridgestone, which focuses on one of the most important (and oftentimes overlooked) components of the automobile: the tires.
Those large slabs of rubber are the only thing keeping your vehicle in contact with the road, so it's kind of a good idea to look after 'em, you know? This is why the aptly named "Tire Damage Monitoring System" makes sense and could be a game-changer for tire maintenance.
Here's how it works: The offering uses existing hardware that is already equipped in compatible vehicles (such as tire pressure monitoring sensors) to determine if tire damage is present or irregularities can be detected. The hardware also logs telemetric data on road conditions and infrastructure—meaning that if you run over a pothole and the system detects possible damage to the tire's integrity, it can pinpoint the precise location where the damage occurred via GPS. The video below explains things in detail.
Using other vehicle-to-everything (V2x) connectivity, the system can then supply that data to the necessary channels, whether it be other partially automated vehicles so they can also avoid that pothole, or a contractor who assess road data for the local government.
Microsoft says that its TDMS service is available to all Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) customers—such as Volkswagen (who partnered with Microsoft in 2018), Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Renault. It's not clear when or if this tech will reach other customers, but if it means safer cars on the road, everyone truly benefits.
This sounds like a neat idea, especially considering that Bridgestone says nearly 30 percent of all accidents caused by technical failures on a car can be attributed to the tires. Proactive maintenance and monitoring are certainly crucial.
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