Delivering Road Safety through Technology

Tires are the single point of contact between a vehicle and the road.  They are a vital automotive component and can deliver a significant contribution to road safety.  But although tires are an essential part of road safety, they are also little understood.

At Goodyear we invest substantial R&D resources in developing technologies that benefit road safety. Technologies  that offer consumers enhanced tire performance in a wide variety of conditions: from compound polymers that deliver better grip and braking; to tread patterns that keep working when worn; through to RunFlat technology which keeps a tire running even in the case of a flat; and the future Air Maintenance Technology (AMT), which Time magazine named as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year 2012”

A number of external parameters such as the weather can influence the performance of a tire.

Importance of winter tires

Winter tire development for a worry free journey

Driving in winter conditions can be quite challenging.
How can I trust my tires to give me the grip I need?

The right tire combined with weather-appropriate driving behavior significantly increases driving safety. This is particularly so in winter when colder weather means that driving conditions worsen and the risk of road accidents is increased. Winter tires are especially designed to provide optimum performance in a variety of adverse weather conditions. They are equipped with wide tread blocks and extra cuts in the tread called “sipes” that give the tire extra bite to grip winter roads and displace accumulated snow.  

Much more than ‘snow tires’...
Winter tire technology not only enhances road safety and mobility in snow and ice but also enables vehicles to perform better in cold weather conditions when temperatures fall below 7ᵒC. Winter tires need to deliver optimal performance in a host of bad weather scenarios: in slush, snow and ice, on dry and wet roads, when going uphill and downhill, and while braking, accelerating and cornering. So how do they work? Well, there are several special technologies in the Goodyear development process that allow winter tires to perform better. These include:
  • Types and composition of the tread pattern
  • Softer and more flexible polymer compounds
  • The special sipe technology
  • The shape of the contact patch: specially designed grooves and complex 3D sipes
  • The distinctive tread design

For summer and high temperature conditions, Goodyear strongly recommends the use of summer tires, as they have the optimal performance on dry and wet roads. 

Run On Flat

RunOnFlat tires make a significant contribution to road safety. Experiencing a blow-out while driving can be very dangerous for both the vehicle involved and those around it. Drivers can struggle to maintain control of the car, particularly if they are on a motorway and travelling at high speeds. They run the risk of injuring both themselves and their passengers while also endangering the safety of other road users. With Goodyear RunOnFlat tires drivers can feel safer at the wheel. The tires are designed with stronger sidewalls than conventional tires which enable the tire to hold its shape and keep the vehicle running - even without any air pressure. This is good news for all road users who no longer have to fear being stranded in an unfamiliar place due to a flat tire. RunOnFlat tires can keep going for up to at least 80km at maximum up to 80km/h at very low or zero inflation, allowing the driver to reach a safe location and get the tire repaired or changed. 

Why the right tire pressure is important: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is an advanced on-board tire monitoring system. 
Maintaining proper tire inflation is key for both fuel efficiency and better tire performance. Tires can lose around 3-6% of pressure per month and this may not be noticed by the driver.** 
A tire pressure monitoring system is a device that enables vehicles to alert drivers in case of a tire puncture or under inflation below a threshold. It provides drivers real-time information on tire pressure, either via a gauge, a pictogram display or a simple low-pressure warning light, real-time information. 
Maintaining optimal tire pressure, i.e. the pressure level recommended by the vehicle producer, is essential for road safety – reduced braking distance, stability and proper handling. It is also highly important for fuel efficiency/reduction of CO2 from transport. Deflated tires can cause up to 4% increase in fuel consumption while reducing tire lifespan by 45% Optimal tire pressure also helps preventing that tires wear too fast.***

The potential of TPMS for both safe driving and fuel efficiency has already been recognized by the EU legislator for passenger vehicles: TPMS is hence required in Europe since November 2012 for all new car models, and will be mandatory for from November 2014 for all new cars sold. Goodyear EMEA* believes that the TPMS requirement should be extended to light and heavy commercial vehicles.

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