Sumitomo’s SENSING CORE Adds Wheel Detachment Alert

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI)'s latest development in its SENSING CORE intelligent tyre technology introduces a significant advancement in automotive safety with the introduction of a new wheel detachment function. This innovation, aimed at reducing the risk of accidents caused by loose wheel nuts, marks a pivotal step in vehicle safety technologies, addressing a critical issue that has led to numerous accidents, particularly in Japan.

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Sumitomo Rubber
Published on
March 26, 2024

The wheel detachment function of SENSING CORE is designed to alert drivers to the loosening of wheel nuts, potentially by as little as one millimeter. This technology relies on analyzing wheel-speed signals and other data from the vehicle's Controller Area Network (CAN), enabling it to operate independently of the tyre's make, model, or size. Its development comes in response to the increasing concern over accidents caused by detached wheels, a risk exacerbated during the winter months when drivers switch to winter tyres and may not ensure the wheel nuts are sufficiently tightened.

Historically, mechanical clips have been used as a visual check to mitigate this risk, but their effectiveness is limited by their reliability and the necessity for drivers to diligently check each nut before driving. The introduction of SENSING CORE's wheel detachment function offers a more reliable, sensor-less solution to this problem, promising to significantly reduce the incidence of such accidents.

Sumotomo’s CES 2024 booth was designed around promoting the Sensing Core tire system. | Image: Sumitomo Rubber

The Government of Japan's interest in eliminating loose wheel accidents further underscores the importance of this technology. SRI's innovation is set to become standard equipment on a production vehicle in 2024, a move that could spearhead widespread adoption across the automotive industry. This step aligns with SRI's broader vision under its SMART TYRE CONCEPT, which seeks to enhance vehicle safety and efficiency through advanced tyre technologies. This concept is integral to adapting to the future challenges of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) vehicles and mobility as a service.

Dr. Bernd Löwenhaupt, Managing Director of Sumitomo Rubber Europe GmbH, emphasizes the role of SENSING CORE in the evolution of mobility, particularly in the context of autonomous driving. By leveraging the data collected through this technology, SRI aims to not only improve vehicle control but also to integrate this information with broader societal data through cloud services. This approach is already being tested through fleet trials of cloud-based Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), demonstrating the potential for tyre-based information to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve safety.

The collaboration with Viaduct, an AI-powered connected-vehicle analytics company, represents another forward-looking initiative by SRI. This partnership aims to predict tyre health across a vehicle fleet, integrating SENSING CORE technology with cloud-based analytics to improve maintenance and safety.

SRI's introduction of the wheel detachment function within its SENSING CORE technology represents a significant leap forward in automotive safety. By addressing a common yet often overlooked cause of road accidents, this innovation not only enhances the safety of individual vehicles but also contributes to the broader goal of safer roads. As this technology becomes integrated into more vehicles, it could set a new standard in vehicle safety, underscoring the importance of advanced monitoring systems in the future of transportation.

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