Falken’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), has developed new technology that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the properties of rubber and detects how structural changes, due to load and wear, will affect performance throughout a tyre’s lifecycle. The data collected through “Tyre Leap AI Analysis” will support engineers to create longer lasting tyres with more consistent performance over time and is a key element of SRI’s “Smart Tyre Concept”.
Tyres are typically produced from a range of materials, such as rubber (both natural and synthetic), reinforcing filling substances (e.g. silica and soot), as well as various chemicals and additives. Its properties are derived from the complex interaction between these materials. As these properties evolves with mechanical load, understanding the effects between the elements on tyre life was until now, extremely difficult.
In a bid to gain a better understanding, Tyre Leap AI Analysis, using artificial intelligence, was developed by SRI in collaboration with Prof Kimi Haseyama from Hokkaido University in Sapporo.
Real-world data along with advanced image processing, such as electron microscopy, are used to analyse the internal structure. By comparing images of old and new tyres, Tyre Leap AI Analysis can with high levels of accuracy, predict how changes to materials and structure will change performance. The new technology thus has the huge potential for forecasting tyre properties through its lifespan and far exceeds human capabilities to predict the changes and guide the development of future products.
According to SRI’s engineers, creating a tyre that delivers a more consistent level of performance over its lifespan would not only offer a safety benefit but could extend the tyre’s service life.