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Pirelli Cyber Fleet comes to Europe

Testing of Pirelli’s state-of-the-art Cyber Fleet system has doubled up so that a new programme of tests in Germany, where more than a million kilometres have been monitored in barely two months, joins the existing South American schedule.

The European programme has been carried out by 15 heavy goods vehicles, confirming the results that were obtained in Latin America. Constant real-time monitoring of tyre pressures and maintenance schedules, which Cyber Fleet carries out via a sensor inside the tyre connected to a terminal, leads to fuel saving that can amount to 1000 Euros per vehicle every year as well as extra benefits in terms of fleet safety.

Pirelli chose Germany as its latest test ground in preparation for the new Cyber Fleet system going on sale by the end of January 2013. The test programme, which began in the second half of July, will continue until February with the objective of accumulating as much information as possible, which can be matched to the results obtained in South America.

The 15 vehicles involved in the European test programme belong to German fleets providing municipal services, as well as transport of goods and people. Cyber Fleet showed positive results in both versions tested: the dynamic version – which transmits tyre pressure, temperature and distance information in real time, showing up any anomalies via an on- board terminal – and the static version, where data can be downloaded onto a portable terminal. Up to now, the sensors have monitored a total distance of more than a million kilometres – principally on German roads but also in Italy and Sweden – allowing users to calculate the efficiency of each individual vehicle. The fleets involved have already been able to benefit from the system’s advantages, which allows them to optimise fleet management, bringing down fuel costs (as tyres inflated to correct pressures reduce rolling resistance) and staff costs (with fewer people needed to check tyres and pressures) as well as improving durability by guaranteeing even wear across all tyres.Giovanni Pomati, BU Truck Director, said: “The efficiency of our system, which is currently also being tested in South America where conditions are different, has been confirmed during our latest European tests. There was even an instance where the central operating system, which monitors the tyres, spotted and quickly alerted the driver to an anomaly before he even noticed it. The sensor detected a significant pressure drop in one tyre and provided data in real time to the fleet manager, who was able to arrange a rapid fix for the problem, caused by a damaged wheel.”

Cyber Fleet is the latest in a long line of innovative technical solutions developed by Pirelli’s researchers to promote safety and efficiency within the global framework of sustainable mobility. Correct tyre pressures are vital to guarantee optimal performance when it comes to driving precision, dry and wet grip, and reduced braking distances.
In terms of efficiency, the correct tyre pressure has a big positive influence on wear, durability and rolling resistance – so Cyber Fleet helps to ensure cheaper running costs. In particular, by constantly checking pressures, the system keeps rolling resistance at the perfect level, in line with the value quoted on the new European tyre label that will be obligatory from 1 November. Consequently, the tyres will always maintain the grading on their labels.

Pirelli’s research and development division has created an electronic sensor that can assess the running conditions of each tyre in collaboration with Schrader Electronics: world leader in on-board tyre pressure monitoring systems. This sensor, known as the TMS (Tyre Mounted Sensor) is applied to the inside of the tyre to collect all data regarding pressure, temperature and status. Using a terminal developed jointly with Magneti Marelli, the system sends the driver and fleet manager all the data that the system collects in real time. Consequently, the fleet can carry out timely diagnostics and maintenance to guarantee the highest levels of safety on each heavy goods vehicle. The task of interpreting data is not just down to the driver but also the fleet manager, who can monitor the safety of the entire fleet remotely. Thanks to Cyber Fleet, fleet owners will now have the opportunity to ensure that tyres are always at the correct pressure, helping to optimise fuel consumption and tyre life. The system can also monitor wear on each tyre, logging distance covered, which brings concrete benefits in terms of safety as well. Cyber Fleet can be used in two ways:

Static solution: the sensor memorises all tyre pressure and temperature data, which can be downloaded remotely via a hand-held computer, developed in collaboration with Tecnomotor. Dynamic solution: Cyber Fleet can integrate itself with the majority of telematics solutions currently available, allowing real time transmission of all data to the fleet manager thanks to SpecTec software: Pirelli’s central data processing partner. This means that reports and statistics can easily be compiled from a database. Via a remote connection, Cyber Fleet can also track individual vehicles and distances covered, acting as radio frequency identification (RFID) on every tyre.