The tyre industry’s role in advancing Connected & Automated Driving

An innovation-driven tyre industry will play a crucial role in driving advancements

The rapid and exciting evolution of mobility is raising fundamental questions regarding fair and equal access to in-vehicle data. Future mobility brings opportunities for road safety, sustainability and society at-large. As a key contributor to the automotive industry and value chain, an innovation-driven tyre industry will play a crucial role in driving advancements. In-vehicle data can significantly help improve vehicle and road safety, sustainability and infrastructure quality in the future. Tyre manufacturers can process vehicle-generated data to provide highly accurate, precise, high quality as well as close to real-time diagnostic and prognostic services linked to tyre behaviour analysis. The precision insights by tyre manufacturers on in-vehicle data will be essential to accelerate the potential benefits of connectivity and automation for others in the mobility chain.

 This is demonstrated by an industry report commissioned by ETRMA and carried out by Quantalyse , introducing the concept of Tyres-as-a-Service. This has immense potential, particularly, in the case of infrastructure quality management enhancement and vehicle platooning to increase road safety, reduce vehicle emissions and decongest urban roads. 

With growing connectivity in the Internet of Things era, tyre makers have developed diverse telematics solutions for mobility, data sharing and connected vehicles. These solutions have enabled the creation of Tyre as a Service (TaaS) business models. TaaS in the broader sense even goes beyond tyres and today tyre makers have already developed a diversified pool of telematics solutions.

 TaaS, in a narrower sense, describes the concept of providing tyres and the associated services under a subscription model with strong consideration of all direct and indirect economical, ecological, safety and usability impact for the customers and the society. The optimization of TaaS requires in-depth understanding of all such dimensions and its interdependencies for each individual application scenario. The development of this understanding requires the availability, collection, and processing of vehicle, environmental, and operational data.



Tyres-as-a-service fuses innovative telematics solutions with tyre technology...

 These services range from small micro services (apps or devices) and vehicle monitoring for individual drivers to fully-fledged service packages for fleets enabling the creation of large universal vehicle data platforms for third parties. These services can verifiably help drivers and fleet operators to save fuel, increase safety, increase vehicle uptime, and reduce congestion and harmful emissions from transport.

Infrastructure quality management enhancement is a field...

where cooperation between the tyre industry and (local) governments can yield significant gains in tackling mobility issues like congestion, fatalities and pollution. Advanced vehicle data measurement and modelling can inform drivers and authorities of road conditions, danger zones and traffic flow. The tyre industry has the means and resources to develop the advanced technology to realize this potential of the connected vehicle.

Vehicle platooning, where vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art driving support systems...

Using the tyre industry’s proprietary knowledge, sensory data input and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, freight platoons can optimise their inter-vehicle distance, optimising fuel consumption while maximising safety. The data can also ensure the correct safe braking distance for the actual weather and road surface conditions according to the specifications and real-time performances of each tyre, saving lives.

To support this vision, the European tyre industry calls for fair competition, consumer empowerment, road safety and cybersecurity to ensure a level playing field and non-discriminatory access to in-vehicle data.  For this reason, ETRMA co-signed a manifesto for fair digitalisation opportunities, for a genuine digital level playing field in the remote access to in-vehicle data.

The following videos offer an idea of the important role tyres could play in CAD, how tyre manufacturers’ access to in-vehicle data and direct communication with the driver could provide crucial prognostic and diagnostic services provide solutions to safety, sustainability and traffic regulation problems facing citizens and local authorities.

Useful links:

  • European Parliament recognises in-vehicle data as essential in its Own Initiative Report on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (14 March 2018)
  • ETRMA calls on the Commission to propose the standardization of an in-vehicle interface (10 April 2018)
  • Coalition of automotive industry and mobility services operators, insurers, motorist consumers and SME representatives’ launch manifesto for fair digitalisation opportunities (November 2019)

Low emission mobility

Tyres are an important enabler of sustainable mobility: they are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road and because of their rolling resistance (the force resisting the motion when a tyre rolls on a surface) and account for up to 30% (when they are properly inflated and maintained) of the fuel consumption of vehicles.

Since the 1990s, European tyre manufacturers have developed technologies lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by introducing Low Rolling Resistance Tyres (LRRT). The industry continues to work on new and advanced tyre technologies whilst promoting road safety and other regulatory measures, such as tyre labelling.

Focus on cars and light duty vehicles

The tyre industry plays an active role in CO2 emissions reduction. This needs to go hand in hand with a full deployment of existing solutions whose application would allow to benefit fully from the most advanced tyre technologies.

To do so, it is necessary to empower the consumer. The market uptake for LRRTs still shows ample margins of improvements, on the replacement market. This can be attributed to economic factors (on average the price of LRRTs is higher and there is lack of economic incentives to buy them), poor consumers’ awareness about the benefits of using LRRTs. This tendency and behaviour is also reflected in the poor tyre service life conditions (e.g.: more than 52% of vehicles with underinflated tyres, according to VacanzeSicure).

For these reasons, awareness campaigns on the contribution of tyres to low emission mobility should be carried out, coupled with tyre maintenance education in the driving licence curricula. Finally, public procurement tenders by national and local administrations should include strict tyre performance requirements.

Read our position paper on sustainable mobility for cars and light duty vehicles.

Focus on freight transport

ETRMA also supports the EC initiative to reduce Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) CO2 emissions and foresees reducing on average tyre rolling resistance coefficient by 1% per annum. This could lead to a reduction of 8.7 million tons of CO2 emissions resulting from tyres by 2030, if the current volume of road traffic remains steady.

To achieve these ambitious objectives, the industry underlines the need to correctly store and maintain tyres. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 4% and reduce the lifespan of the tyre by 45%. Driving with correctly inflated tyres enhances the efficiency of low rolling resistance tyres and reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 5g per kilometre.

Read our position paper on low emission mobility in freight transport.

Road Safety

Tyres, the sole point of contact with the road, play a crucial role in enhancing the safety of road users and of motor vehicles. A tyre has multiple functions and must achieve a balance within a series of exacting parameters. These include supporting the load, resisting and hanging, supporting high and low speeds and perfect adhesion without generating too much rolling resistance. All this is achieved regardless of whether the ground is dry, wet, clean, irregular or deformed. Tyres, therefore, are a crucial factor behind the ability of the driver to maintain control of his/her vehicle in all conditions.

The tyre is a fundamental part of mobility and of vehicle road safety. To improve road safety, a holistic approach needs to be promoted involving these 3 fundamental action areas, which are:

  • vehicle technology
  • driver behaviour
  • road infrastructure

In 2018, European roads still saw 49 deaths per million inhabitants and, according to the European Transport Safety Council, the reduction of such deaths has been stagnating since 2013.

The key to further improvements in road safety lies in increasing the awareness of drivers as well as in the introduction of new technologies for accident avoidance.

Our commitment to road safety

In line with the tyre industry’s continuous proactive engagement and innovations towards enhancing the security of road users and vehicles, ETRMA became signatory to the European Road Safety Charter on the occasion of the Europe 1st Road Safety Day, on 27 April 2007.

Since then, based on the materials provided by tyre safety organisations Pneumatici sotto controllo (Italy) and TyreSafe (UK), and now also through TyreAware, a large number of participants either from public authorities, companies, road safety associations, or driving schools were alerted on the importance of having a correct tyre pressure. The need to regularly checking tyre tread depth and that of equipping one’s vehicle with winter tyres in real winter season conditions.

Increasing awareness on tyre safety: from storage to maintenance

Because of the importance of tyres in ensuring road safety, tyre manufacturers’ associations across Europe launched the TyreAWARE campaign. This project aims to raise awareness of best practices and procedures on tyre maintenance, storage and service life for dealers, authorities and consumers.

The materials of the campaign have been consolidated and translated into 14 European languages and are available to download for free on an interactive microsite. The comprehensive materials regard facts and advice on tyre storage, purchase, maintenance and service life and include information on tyre pressure and winter tyres. There is also a selection of videos explaining the correct time to replace tyres, the importance of monitoring correct inflation and when to fit winter tyres.

Visitors to the microsite can test their knowledge on how to best care for their tyres by taking part in the TyreAWARE quiz, which is currently available in English.

By following the information and the recommendations provided in this campaign, tyres will be safer, last longer, consume less fuel, emit less CO2 and be quieter.

EDWARD – A European Day Without A Road Death

Every year, the week of the 20th of September, TISPOL organises the European Day Without A Road Death.

That’s the aim of Project EDWARD each year. Launched in 2016, the project is supported by drivers across the continent, plus very generous public and private sector partners.

ETRMA first signed the pledge in 2016 and renewed it also in 2019. The pledge also includes the importance of performing safety checks on tyres. ETRMA strongly supports this initiative, as purchasing the right tyres is the first step towards improving overall road safety. A great responsibility lies in the hands of the consumers as it is then their duty to ensure that tyres are well maintained.