Pirelli has for the first time fitted intelligent tyres equipped with sensors on the new McLaren Artura.
Described by the Italian tyre maker as “sensors that can talk to a car”, Pirelli’s Cyber Tyre system is made up of a sensor in each tyre that gathers vital data for safe driving, linked to software integrated into the car’s onboard computer.
It offers the driver a “plethora of information”, according to Pirelli. This includes the type of tyre, whether it’s a winter or summer version, prescribed pressure, load index and speed rating – as well as current running information, such as temperature and pressure.
This information – including temperature and pressure, constantly monitored and transmitted in real time – is vital when it comes to safety, Pirelli says.
The information is also delivered, with greater precision compared to traditional sensors on the valve, as the Pirelli transmitting sensors are in direct contact with the actual tyres rather than the wheel rims.
The data supplied from the sensors is processed by software created by Pirelli that is integrated into the car’s electronics. Some information can be seen on the dashboard and the central display; other information is used by the car’s electronics to calibrate the driver alert systems based on the exact characteristics of the tyres and their status.
A spokesperson for Pirelli tells us: “A car equipped with Pirelli’s Cyber Tyre system can alert a driver that they need to check tyre pressures in order to continue driving safely. Alternatively, when it’s time to change the type of tyres – which often carry a different speed rating from summer to winter – the car alerts the driver when the maximum speed for that tyre has been reached. The specific functionality of Cyber tyres is chosen and defined by the manufacturers adopting them for each model.”
In the case of the McLaren Artura, some of these functions have been specifically selected for use on a race track, such as tyre pressure for better performances on the track.
Likewise, drivers can also be notified about when the tyres have reached optimal temperature, allowing them to access the correct window to extract the maximum possible performance out of the car-tyre package. Drivers can additionally be told when to cool their tyres again, “just as if there were a proper race engineer in the passenger seat”, according to Pirelli.
Pirelli’s engineers have developed bespoke P Zero tyres for the McLaren Artura in 235/35Z R19 size at the front and 295/35 R20 size at the back together with McLaren’s own engineers.
The tyres have an asymmetric tread pattern, which is said to give excellent braking performance to guarantee control of the car under all conditions, particularly when it’s wet.
The P Zero Corsa tyres, developed specifically for use on the track as well as the road, are also available, featuring a compound derived from Pirelli’s motorsport experience.
For winter, the McLaren Artura benefits from unique P Zero Winter tyres specifically designed to match its characteristics, with a tailor-made compound and tread pattern design that guarantees performance similar to the P Zero summer tyre.
All three of these tyres for the McLaren Artura can be distinguished by their MC-C markings on the sidewalls, which indicates the unique development that has been carried out by Pirelli especially for McLaren, using Cyber Tyre technology.
The Pirelli spokesperson adds: “The Pirelli Cyber Tyre system will represent the future of tyres: capable of giving cars a sense of touch by allowing them to identify or predict potentially hazardous situations such as loss of grip and aquaplaning, which means that the cars electronics can promptly intervene.
“The next step will be tyres connected to a network with other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure.”