You’ve heard of driverless cars, now there are driverless tyre tests. Continental commissioned the first driverless tyre test vehicle for a wide range of road surface types at its Ulvade, Texas test track on 19 December 2018. The aim is to make the test results for Continental’s car tyres more repeatable.
“In critical situations, the tyres’ level of technology is the deciding factor in whether a vehicle brakes in time,” explains Nikolai Setzer, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Tire division. “With tyre tests which use an automated vehicle, we achieve highly conclusive test results and thereby ensure the premium quality of our tyres.”
The history of driverless tyre tests
Thomas Sych, head of Tyre Testing at Continental, has been working on what they call “the tyre test of the future” since 2016:
“The automated vehicle enables us to reproduce processes precisely, meaning that every tyre in the test experiences exactly the same conditions. This way, we can be sure that differences in the test are actually caused by the tyres and not by the test procedure.”